11/20/14 Hammond Indiana

A
A
A

Hi.  I’m Mark Hyman.

Jamal Jones has filed a federal civil lawsuit against two Hammond, Indiana police officers for this traffic stop.

Jones’ girlfriend — who was the driver  — was on the phone with 911 pleading for a supervisor because the officers deployed spike strips and had their weapons drawn over a seatbelt violation.

The officers claim they were acting in self-defense.

One of two children in the backseat recorded the encounter.

We may learn more as the case unfolds.

Some observers expressed shock at the behavior of the officers.  Others believe their actions were justified.

[An aggressive traffic stop campaign appears to be the forte of the Hammond Police Department.  In June 2014, the state of Indiana rewarded the city of Hammond with a $10,000 grant for being one the most aggressive jurisdictions in the state when issuing traffic citations.]
In our investigation, we found there’s more to consider.

Between the two officers, they’ve been named in five other federal civil rights lawsuits [Stancato v. City of Hammond; Gray v. City of Hammond; Warner v. City of Hammond; Goodman v. Clark; and Leiding v. City of Hammond].

Allegations include illegal searches; beating and kicking; applying a chokehold; drawing weapons during a traffic stop; and other unlawful acts.  One episode left a victim with a permanent brain injury.

The city of Hammond paid settlements in three of the cases.  A fourth is pending.  A fifth was dismissed.

Jones’ lawsuit is number six.

This doesn’t include any formal or informal complaints made against the officers.

By the looks of it, the city of Hammond, Indiana has a serious problem on its hands.

You can follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter at @BehindTheHead.
You can follow Mark on
Twitter at @MarkHyman.
Join us on our
Facebook page.