Police Dashcam Video Of Violent Arrest Prompts ACLU Complaint

MLive

User Profile You are signed in as

Edit Public Profile Sign Out

Michigan

Change Region
>

Police dashcam video of violent arrest prompts ACLU complaint

TAYLOR, MI -- The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Taylor Police Department to open an investigation in response to dashcam video of a 2016 arrest it calls "terrifying" and "violent."

The ACLU sent a letter dated May 23 asking the downriver Detroit suburb's police department to review the stop, retrain officers if necessary, amend policies and discipline the officers involved.

Taylor police declined to comment on the incident, but said an investigation would be conducted.

"We have just received the complaint today," Police Chief Mary Sclabassi told MLive by email. "We take all complaints seriously. A thorough and diligent investigation will be conducted. We will refrain from comment until such investigation is complete."

Video footage posted to YouTube by the ACLU shows the April 16 arrest of then-26-year-old Calvin Jones, who had his wife and brother-in-law, a minor, in the car when a Taylor police officer stopped him for allegedly running a stop sign.

Jones asked the officer why he was being stopped and refused to present his ID, according to police reports obtained by the ACLU.

"I informed Calvin I would be happy to tell him the reason for the stop once I saw his information and knew who I was talking to," the officer said in his report.

The ACLU acknowledged the officer was correct that Jones is obligated to present his driver's license upon request and without explanation during a traffic stop, but contends the officer could have handled the situation without escalating tensions. 

The group wrote that after a "protracted" debate about Jones' rights, the officer called for backup.

Taylor ACLU Calvin Jones complaint.jpg>Screenshot of Taylor police dashcam related to May 23, 2017 letter from the ACLU.Gus Burns | fburns@mlive.com 

When backup arrived, the officer told Jones failure to provide ID is an offense that justifies arrest and ordered him out of the car. When Jones again refused, the officer checked the door, which was locked, and then grabbed the top of the cracked driver's-side window. 

The officer placed his knee on the door and pulled backwards, causing the window to shatter. The officer fell backward onto the road, nearly into the path of a passing minivan. 

"The shattering of the car window was violent and terrifying and had the potential to endanger all present," the ACLU wrote.

The officer popped up after falling and began grabbing Jones through the window, the dashcam video shows.

The officer wrote in his report that Jones "actively resisted" and attempted to "grab of something in the center console."

Jones told the ACLU he was not reaching for a weapon -- and no weapon was noted in the police report -- but rather trying to undo his seat belt.

Three Taylor police officers are seen wrestling Jones from the vehicle, and according to the ACLU, Jones says he was placed in a choke-hold by the lead officer and temporarily lost consciousness. 

Calvin Jones Incident: Mrs. Jones arrested after urging her husband's compliance with police orders

While the officers have Jones handcuffed behind the vehicle, the same officer who broke the window is seen ordering Jones' wife from the passenger seat.

She refused to drop her cellphone when ordered to do so, according to the police report. The officer is seen aggressively handcuffing her and throwing her phone into the road. According to the ACLU, she was charged with a misdemeanor. 

Upon arrival to the jail, Jones said he was ordered to remove all of his clothes, except for his underwear, and forced to lie face down in a cold holding cell before being booked into the jail. 

Letter to Taylor police from ACLU:

ACLU complaint letter sent to Taylor police May 23, 2017 by Fergus Burns on Scribd

Source : http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2017/05/aclu_criticizes_taylor_police.html

Police dashcam video of violent arrest prompts ACLU complaint
Violent arrest of 2nd grade teacher prompts Austin police investigation
WATCH: ACLU of Minnesota releases dashcam video of violent traffic stop
SEE IT: Dashcam video shows cop’s brutal attack on Minnesota driver (WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE)
ACLU releases video of cop's 'brutal attack' on Asian driver
ACLU of Minnesota Calls for Investigation into Worthington Traffic Stop
Officer subject of inquiry, legal action
Centerville police use smart glasses as body cameras
ACLU releases video of police officer's 'brutal attack' on Asian driver