The Hammond police broke a car window and used a Taser on a passenger during a September traffic stop, according to a video recorded by a family member of the driver.
According to a federal lawsuit against the police department, the officers acted “intentionally with malice, willfulness, and reckless indifference to the rights and safety of plaintiffs.”
Yet in a rebuttal the Hammond, Ind., police department said the officers feared the passenger had a weapon because he refused to leave the car and repeatedly reached into the back seat, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Police pulled Lisa Mahone over for not wearing a seatbelt. They asked Mahone and her friend Jamal Jones, who was sitting in the passenger seat, for identification.
According to the lawsuit, Mahone handed over her license and Jones explained to the officers that he was ticketed for driving without registration and didn’t have his license. Jones claims that the officer drew his gun when Jones went to retrieve his ticket.
Police said that Jones refused to hand over his ticket, prompting the officer to call for back-up. When additional officers arrived, they asked Jones to get out of the car because they feared for their safety.
Jones said he would not get out “because he feared the officers would harm him.”
Mahone asked the officers for her seatbelt ticket because she was on her way to the hospital to visit her sick mother, according to the video.
Police then told Jones that if he didn’t leave the car, they will open the door themselves. Jones can be seen nodding.
The officers then broke the window and used a taser on Jones, which is shown in the video.
Jones was arrested for resisting law enforcement and refusing to aid an officer.
According to the lawsuit, the shards of glass from the broken window hit Mahone’s two children in the backseat.
The lawsuit accuses the Hammond police of using excessive force, battery, and false arrest.
The Hammond police said in a statement that they were within their right to asked Jones to get out of the car, according to the Chicago Tribune.
View the video below: