A Florida college student filed a complaint against campus police after an officer smashed her window when she refused to roll it down for him during a routine traffic stop.
Victoria King, a student at University of Central Florida, was pulled over in September of last year for a brake light that was out. Body camera footage taken by the officer showed moment by moment exactly what happened, and what started out as a small stop turned into a huge ordeal.
"An officer pulled me over in regards to a brake light being out," said King, who also recorded the incident on her cell phone. “And it's just really brutal. Really traumatic.”
The video shows the officer asking King to roll her window all the way down, and when she refuses, the officer becomes clearly agitated. He tells her that if she doesn’t roll it down, he will have to break it. He then proceeds to put his right hand into the window and, according to his account, she starts to roll it up.
“I reached in the vehicle in an attempt to open the door, as I did this, King began to roll the power windows up on my right forearm,” said Officer Timothy Isaacs in the police report. “I began to feel pressure on my forearm due to the window compressing it against the frame of the window.”
Officer Isaacs says it was then that the window broke as he tried to pull his arm out, but King says that he broke it intentionally because she refused to comply with his demands.
King was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and resisting an officer without violence. According to reports, those charges were thrown out.
Some see this as a clear use of excessive force on the officer’s side, while others think the officer’s actions were justified because King was acting hostile. King’s lawyer John Guidry makes it clear, however, that when it comes to the law, a police officer can’t force anyone to roll down their window.
“The officer’s command to roll down the window ‘all the way’ does not sound like much of an imposition,” said Guidry. “But it is an unlawful command, and as such, it is not much different than the officer telling Ms. King to stand on her head. Stand on her head? What possible connection does that have with writing a citation for a broken taillight? Well, it has none, as does the officer’s claim that a partially rolled down window is somehow a safety concern. It is not. The officer’s order was arbitrary, is not for the safety of the officer, and, in fact, serves no purpose whatsoever.”