James and Dana Reiner were pulled over and held at gunpoint by police for about 20 minutes because James was speeding to get Dana, who was in labor, to a hospital. A police dashcam video (below) of the January 2012 incident in Hebron, Indiana, has just been released.
Sgt. Anthony Dandurand originally claimed he chased the couple for 5 miles, but later admitted he had his lights on for only 1.1 miles.
James did turn on his blinkers, drove while talking to a police dispatcher via 911 and eventually pulled over.
The couple told the Times of Northwest Indiana that Dandurand shouted at James, "I will shoot you, you piece of s---! Get on the ground!"
After the couple explained the situation, Dandurand reportedly told James: "You will be in jail tonight, and you will not be there when your child is born."
When Dana got out of the car to show the police that her water broke, she recalled a gun laser sight was pointed on her pregnant stomach by Sgt. Travis Thomas, who had arrived at the scene.
Dana recalled that the police told her to "get back in the f------- car."
"I thought, 'OK,'" Dana added. "I'm not going to let them shoot my kid. I got back in the car."
Dandurand and Thomas called an ambulance and made Dana wait for paramedics, who barely got her to the hospital on time in Crown Point, Indiana.
Dana's doctor had to unwrap the umbilical cord from her baby Abigail's neck, and reportedly said the infant would have died if Dana had given birth on the roadside.
Dandurand and Thomas took James to jail and booked him for a probable cause felony charge of resisting law enforcement. James spent the night in jail, but was never formally charged.
“Officer Dandurand should not be demonized for one unfortunate incident in which several factors played into the outcome,” Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said of Dandurand, who joined his department five months after the bizarre incident.
Williams didn't describe what those factors might have been.
The couple tried press charges with county and federal agencies, but when that failed they sued the City of Hebron, Dandurand and Thomas in 2013, noted the Times of Northwest Indiana.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry ruled in July 2014 that Dandurand and Thomas violated the couple's constitutional rights per the Fourth Amendment by detaining the couple after learning that Dana was in labor.
The Reiners later agreed on an undisclosed settlement.
The Reiners said they are not anti-police, but Dana stated, “We’re anti people acting like that."
“We’re not going to lay down and let that happen,” Dana added. “We’re going to stand up for what’s right.”
James recalled that Dandurand and Thomas discussed destroying the dashcam video of the stop:
"They ask, 'Do you want me to pull the tape? I know how to pull the tape.' So they’re talking about destroying evidence. The problem is that there is no oversight. There’s zero. There’s nobody randomly pulling tapes to make sure that they’re being professional. And that’s done in every profession."
Even though James was not formally charged, he still has a felony arrest on his record, and is working with an attorney get it removed.
WARNING: Contains strong language.