Police in Hammond, Ind., broke a car window and tased Jamal Jones on Sept. 25. in an incident stemming from the state's seat belt law.
Jones was sitting in the passenger seat, his girlfriend Lisa Mahone was driving and Mahone's two children were in the back seat when police pulled the family over (video below).
The family was driving to see Mahone's mother, who was about to pass away.
"The whole situation was just crazy," Mahone told My Fox Chicago. "I said 'Oh my God, he's pulling me over like I robbed a bank.'"
The cops stopped Mahone because she wasn't wearing a seat belt, but the situation got tense when the Hammond police officers asked for Jones' ID, which he didn't have because of a recent ticket.
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When Jones reached into the back seat of the car to get the ticket, the police went for their guns. Jones refused to open the car door, Mahone called 911 and Mahone's 14-year-old son recorded the incident with a cell phone from the back seat.
"That's why I have my windows up. I'm not no harm to you right now. I got my kids in the car and you're drawing your weapon," Jones told the police.
Jones asked to speak to supervisor, but a police officer, said, "Look at my shoulder dumba--. I got bars."
"You're going to come out of the car one way or another. You want your kids to see you come out through the window?" the police officer told Jones.
Mahone is heard telling the 911 operator, "I am scared. And the man, pulled a gun out. A gun. Why do my kids have to see that."
Police then shattered the passenger side window, sent glass flying on the kids in the back and tased Jones.
Jones was charged resisting law enforcement and refusing to aid a police officer, but now Jones and Mahone are suing the Hammond police.
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Their attorney Dana Kurtz said in a statement, "They had no probable cause, one, to even ask Jamal to get out of the car, or two, to engage in excessive force in tasering and arresting him."
According to NBC News, the Hammond Police Department defended its officers in a statement, "Police officers who make legal traffic stops are allowed to ask passengers inside of a stopped vehicle for identification and to request that they exit a stopped vehicle for the officer's safety without a requirement of reasonable suspicion. When the passenger displayed movements inside of the stopped vehicle that included placing his hand in places where the officer could not see, officers' concerns for their safety were heightened."
"There was absolutely no search, no nothing to suggest there was criminal activity going on," countered Kurtz. "Certainly not anything that would authorize to taser someone and pull them out of the car and shatter glass into the back seat with children present."
The Hammond police claimed that its officers also wanted to cite Jones for not wearing his seat belt, but Jones insists that he was wearing his seat belt and the police never told him that he was in violation of the seat belt law.