Civil Liberties

No Seatbelt? No Problem, We've Got a Taser, Say Indiana Cops


Once again, it's the kind of story many people wouldn't believe if there weren't video. Lisa Mahone was driving through Hammond, Indiana, when police pulled her over because she wasn't wearing her seat belt. When her boyfriend, Jamal Jones, reached for his ID as police requested, one of the cops apparently pulled out a gun. Showing more restraint than some, the cops managed to refrain from shooting Jones immediately, but they didn't take too kindly to his subsequent refusal to get out of the car. So they smashed in the passenger-side window—sending glass flying toward Jones' children in the backseat—and then used a taser on him. 

Watch the whole horrific video below if you can stomach it. Throughout it, Mahone (who can be heard but not seen in the video) insists they're scared to get out of the car, which really isn't all that unreasonable, considering.

"He just pulled a gun on us, and we don't have a gun," she says to the 911 operator she's on the phone with near the beginning of the video. Right before the cop busts in her window, she can be heard asking, "Why do you say somebody's not going to hurt you? People are getting shot by the police—" Smash! 

Jones' 14-year-old son, seated in the back with his 7-year-old sister, caught most of the September 24 incident on video:

Jones was subsequently charged with resisting law enforcement and failure to aid an officer; both he and Mahone received citations for failure to wear seat belts. "The Hammond Police officers were at all times acting in the interest of officer safety and in accordance with Indiana law," the department's cheif said in a statement. 

This week, Mahone filed a lawsuit charging the two officers involved, Patrick Vicari and Charles Turner, with excessive force, false arrest, and battery.