Video: IN police make traffic stop, break window, stun gun passenger

A Hammond, IN police officer smashes the window during the traffic stop. (Source: NBC/WMAQ/YouTube)
A Hammond, IN police officer smashes the window during the traffic stop. (Source: NBC/WMAQ/YouTube)

CHICAGO, IL (NBC) - An Indiana family is suing the Hammond Police Department, alleging excessive force during a traffic stop that was caught on camera near Chicago.

It started as a traffic stop last month for no seat belt. But it ended with police officers shattering the family's car window and using a stun gun on the front seat passenger.

Lisa Mahone, her boyfriend Jamal Jones and her two children were driving to a hospital in Cook County to visit Mahone's mom, who was near death.

Mahone was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt and given a ticket.   

"So I was scared from the beginning," Lisa Mahone said. "He asked me for my license and insurance. I gave it to him. He stuck it in his pocket. I told him about my mom. I was on my way to the hospital. He didn't care. He said we can get all of this over with. He then asked for his (Jamal's ) identification. So at the beginning was when I was scared."

Jones told police that he didn't have his license with him because he had recently received a ticket.

This is when Lisa Mahone's 14-year-old son started recording the incident on his mobile phone.

When Jones reached to show police his ticket, the officers drew their guns.

That's when Lisa Mahone called 911 and asked for a supervisor, telling the 911 operator that they were scared.

After Jones refused multiple requests from police to get out of the car, officers smashed the window, used a stun gun on him and arrested him.

"It felt like my civil rights was just thrown out the window, along with my body," Jamal Jones said. "I tried to explain it to the officer. My first thing that I said to him, my kids are in the car, my mom is passing, could we please just make this as quick as possible. Here go our information, can we go to the hospital. He threw that out the window. It didn't feel right. I felt, I felt black again."

The family's lawsuit alleges excessive force, false arrest and battery.

"The family in this case has filed this lawsuit because they want to make sure that not only officers with the Hammond Police Department, but officers all around this country understand that you cannot engage in this type of conduct and terrorize American families, including small children," Attorney Dana Kurtz said.

They also claim both children suffered minor cuts from flying glass.

A statement released by the Hammond Police Department said their officers "were at all times acting in the interest of officer safety and in accordance with Indiana law," adding that officers may ask passengers to exit a vehicle "for the officer's safety without a requirement of reasonable suspicion."

"You can ask someone for identification, they have no right to ask you to step out of a vehicle unless they have probable cause," Kurtz said. "And thank goodness Joseph took video. Because the video stands for itself that these officers engaged in excessive force and were completely unreasonable. There was absolutely no basis to engage in the conduct that they did or to arrest Jamal."

"At the end when it was over with I looked at all the officers and I said, do you know, I said, I do not feel like I have police officers in my presence right now," Lisa Mahone said. "It felt like I was felt like it was nothing but gangbangers around me."

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