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An Indiana man whose car window was smashed and who was Tasered by police after a traffic stop said Tuesday that "it felt like my civil rights were just thrown out the window, along with my body."
Lisa Mahone and her boyfriend Jamal Jones were driving on Sept. 24 in Hammond, Indiana, with Mahone's two kids in the back seat when Mahone was stopped and ticketed for driving without wearing a seat belt. The stop was caught on cellphone camera by Mahone's 14-year-old son.
"Thank goodness Joseph took the video, because the video stands for itself that these officers engaged in excessive force," attorney Dana Kurtz said in a news conference with the couple Tuesday.
In the video, officers ask Jones, who was in the passenger seat, to show his ID. However, he did not have his license on him. Officers then appear to draw guns and order him out of the car, prompting Mahone to call 911. The video shows police shattering the passenger window and using a stun-gun on Jones. Lawyers say the two children suffered minor cuts from flying glass. The lawsuit alleges excessive force, false arrest and battery.
In a statement earlier Tuesday, Hammond police said, "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."
Mahone said since being pulled over, "I'm really in a state of shock."