Hammond police sued over smashed windows, use of Taser during traffic stop

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Hammond police have been hit with a lawsuit claiming officers went too far during a traffic stop caught on cellphone video.

The confrontation happened Sept. 24..

The driver of a car was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt.

Video shows the driver and the front-seat passenger arguing with officers as police ordered them to get out of the car.

Officers then smashed the passenger side window and Tasered the passenger.

The plaintiffs say children in the back seat of the car were hurt by flying glass.

The suit accuses the police department of excessive force, false arrest and battery.

Hammond Police Lieutenant Richard Hoyda released a statement saying police spent several minutes trying to talk the couple out of the car.

Hoyda says officers also were concerned about their safety as the passenger kept reaching into the rear seat of the car.

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40 comments

  • chiguy

    This will keep happening until we stand up.. unfortunately, the only thing Americans respond to is shock, so I can’t wait till we start seeing more videos where the tables are turned and cops are the ones on the ground, in the hospitals and in courts trying to talk their way out of jail and felonies…

    • Informed22015

      I have tried to stand up against this kind of thing for a long time. When you are the only one that stands up to this nothing happens. Have you noticed that the police are always above the law?

      • alin

        No, the police enforce the law! Its idiots like him ,who try to make it about race that are the problem.
        If you try and fight the law,you deserve what you get. Maybe you think the cop should have said pretty please w sugar on top?!!!

    • KT

      Maryland v. Wilson

      Supreme Court Ruling.
      A passenger will comply to a Police Officer’s orders to exit the vehicle. Not complying is considered resisting or obstructing.

      • wcrump44

        In today’s society where cops can inventively interpret the scope of their authority, any questioning of their authority to any degree is “resisting”. Since when are cops beyond being taken to task? I loathe most police officers and law enforcement officers of any kind. They are the vermin of our society and they get away with being jackbooted thugs and bullies because they wear a government-issued uniform. I have no respect for them at all. They are now the dregs of society. Cops like the ones in this article are lower than animal feces.

      • phil

        If you are going to quote law, know the law. The Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion that officers are NOT allowed to ask for ID from passengers during a seat belt stop. the cops were wrong.

      • pmt

        Not is this case. The Indiana Supreme court ruled that officers CANNOT ask passengers for ID or even ask to search the car for a seat belt stop. The cops were wrong, and the sad thing is the Mayor and the Chief don’t know that.

      • pmt

        Not in this case, no. The Indiana Supreme court ruled that officers are not allowed to ask passengers for ID or even ask the driver if they can search the car. The cops were wrong. The pathetic thing is the Chief said the cops were following applicable policy and law. He doesn’t even know what he is talking about.

    • wcrump44

      You’re absolutely right. I can’t wait for that day either, but until we get the current people out of office at all levels, it will keep happening and these abusive cops will go unchecked and all the more emboldened. Maybe if we had civilians reviewing use of force and these review boards had the power to pull a cop’s badge even if the department doesn’t concur.

  • Informed22015

    Sorry no law suit here. When I was 17 (back in “79”) I had a cop pull me over and draw his gun out and that was just for driving license suspended, thank god he did not shot. Police can pull you over demand that everyone gets out of the car. And if you don’t well just image the trouble one can have. I hope everyone is aware that when you register a car it gives police the right to search and seize that car without a search warrant. When ever you get pulled over, do what the police say, do not talk DO. Even if there are kids around, make sure you do what they say. They should have used a Taser on Mr. Brown instead of shouting him. Also notice this: “Police spent several minutes trying to talk the couple out of the car” even the video shows this. So yes unfortunately the police are in the right, even if I don’t like saying it.

    • phil

      No, they are not right.
      The Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion that officers are NOT allowed to ask for ID from passengers during a seat belt stop. the cops were wrong

  • james smith

    Whats the problem? The residents of this state have voted to give control of their lives to the government. If the officers felt like arresting this man, they no longer need a reason. This Country Voted to be a Police State, that’s what its getting

    • W.C.

      Why is there such a rush to use force? All a cop has to do is claim, “I couldn’t see where he was reaching or what he was reaching for.” to get away with any disproportionate use of force. This was a stop over a seat belt not being fastened. It was not a felony warrant stop. The woman was on the phone with 911. The man asked for someone of a higher rank and was told, “Look at my shoulder, dumbass!!!” With kids in the car the cop comes up with an axe and breaks the window and tazes the man? I hope this police department gets sued to the point they literally don’t have a pot to piss in.

      • alin

        This isn’t a black/white thing,its a black/ blue(cop) thing. Some people think their skin color(black) makes them above the law-it doesn’t apply to them. And if they are arrested, taken in hard,or God-forbid hurt or killed its racism. I work nights and been stopped for flimsy reasons by cops looking for drunks. I did as he asked, kept my hands in sight,turned on my dome light,etc. Guess what,nothing happened!

      • alin

        The cops want to go home safe after shift like everybody else. If he wasn’t smart enough to obey the cop and doesn’t realize he was talking to the highest officer on scene (look at my shoulder) then he got what was coming to him. He,not cops,endangered his kids

  • marianne

    America, the land of the free, you are less than free, sad but true. All about violence, restricted travel permits, sounds to me like Russia during the the cold war. x

  • James

    He was in wrong he would not roll down the window only cracked and all he had to do was get out of the car then when they found out he was not doing nothing wrong they would let him go he started it for some reason that’s why he had his kid filming it on his phone if people can’t see that then you all are blind we have to respect the law with out the law there will be nothing but trouble let the police do there jobs they didn’t beat this guy up he has false claim

  • stefan

    just write the ticket instead they showed they are not mature enough to wear a badge, i’m not African American however I understand that the appearance of being afraid of white policemen or in fear is justified . Police are out of control in this country and they should not be above the law. I hope this family wins millions.

    • alin

      No some people of color are. Cris Rock has bit called how not to get your ass kicked by police. Funny but should be shown to all before getting license. #1 obey the law

  • Joe B

    I’ve got an idea: Comply with the police to begin with instead of creating a standoff. If you’re reaching in a bag in the backseat, I see some serious officer safety concerns. Add the non-compliant behavior and the officer really needs to be wondering who he’s dealing with and what the intentions are. Good job, Officer, do what you need to do to stay safe!

    • phil

      The Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion that officers are NOT allowed to ask for ID from passengers during a seat belt stop. the cops were wrong. The cops had no authority or justification to ask for ID or have him get out of the car.

  • Rev.Herman pfeif

    The guy should have got out instead of putting up with his jargon. You don’t act like a jack ass to the police. And I hope the state piles on child endangerment charges for putting on a show for the kids.=-O

    • Psia

      There are police (many) who act like jack ass to “citizens”. I was in a similar situation as a passenger, pulled over on the “pretense of a robbery”, ( it’s always some lame explanation to validate the lie) Once they (8 officers whom claim they followed us from our turnoff from a major street to home) quickly assured us we couldn’t be the persons of interest. Was it time to let us be on our way?, NO, I was asked did I have identification, replied yes, asked if I mind if he see it, I replied yes I do mind, (had given my name and stated I lived here) the officers went bat ****, said if I wasn’t a female he would pull me out the window, went on a rant to tell me its against the law (not to mention the five that was broken by him) cursed me, which influenced the other officers to draw weapons. This is commonplace for our people whether you want to judge that its “us that always provoke the law officers, whether or not you want to believe that there is no way law officers would just react “in fear”. They are armed, and will shoot, and will get physically violent. Its not acting like a jackass to know you are being victimized, you don’t have to put on a show, the final curtain call is when these “law officers are outed for the bullies and murderer’s that they are. And yes, its usually based on the ignorance of judging by the color of your skin, the insecurities that superiority has to be instilled in the inferior person of color. This is sick. How can a adult actually believe in this practice. Turn into a person of color for one day, lets see how your day goes. Can you make it without fear of someone with a gun that will come up with the routine excuses of why you were shot, killed or tasered? Try, it won’t be a pretty picture, but you will get brush strokes.

      • alin

        If you’re truly honest w yourself, you’ll admit that some people are worse than animals. I’m sure there are neighborhoods even you are afraid to go into. In some areas I’m a target just for being white. I’d rather be black and facing cop,than white and facing black hood.

  • Adam

    People are saying that its the peoples fault for not complying to the officers, but the thing is that they were scared. The police officers pulled a gun out while the people in the vehicle were trying to get him the information. The sickening part of that is that if white people did that, it wouldnt matter, but because the guy was black, the cop flipped out. The black couple should be scared because of ferguson and all the police brutality on black people. I hope the officers lose their position and get stuck in jail for what they did. Not every cop is evil, but they sure got an issue with how much power they think they have

  • Kendra Appleseed

    The video clearly shows everything that happened. “We the people” have helped with the fact that cops have to enforce the laws, and have to risk their lives over a simple traffic stop. The poster who says they can’t wait for the day where cops don’t matter is delusional to the realities of today’s society. Unfortuantely, how are the cops supposed to know what the guy was reaching for? They cannot read minds, and deserve to go home at the end of their shifts. To anyone who thinks they are above the law, and doesn’t have to comply with the laws or people that enforce them, do your research well to find another country to move to, as this one obviously isn’t for you. I have hated to read that comment when other posters use it about stories like this one, but it truly fits here.

    The saddest part is how stupid these people acted with the kids in the car, and please – the “we are scared because minorities are getting shot” is not a valid excuse to use AFTER you do not comply for 13 minutes. Also – to the person who said police aren’t their master, please read my above statement about finding another country where you can just go about your business without complying with any laws. Good luck with that.

    • phil

      No, they do not “Deserve” to go home at the end of their shift. That mindset gives them authority they should not have. Anyway, The Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion that officers are NOT allowed to ask for ID from passengers during a seat belt stop. the cops were wrong

  • Renee Wehrwein

    If they would have just followed what that officer was saying they would have never been exposed to the entire indecent. Not a very good example to the children. When is it OK not to follow the police instructions, when is it OK to do what you want. No one has respect for the police soon they will be asking ,” is it OK if I arrest you”

  • Chivet

    In my 30’s..African American and I’ve been pulled over a few times during the lifetime of me driving; (almost 20 years). I have never been tazed, had my windows busted out or harassed. .know why, I do what the F the cop tells me to do. The being black thing as an explanation for getting harassed, is honestly only going to be valid if it truly is an act of racism from a uniformed patrol officer; anything else is and should be just based on stupidity. The courts will rule no case in the officers favor.

  • Rebecca Toriello

    I am very white and I do not agree on what the police did that was racist & excessive. the man was not driving the woman got a seat belt ticket; he self Identified & asked for a supervisor they were going to the hospital for a family member who was knocking on heavens door kids were in the car and he wasn’t driving. heck when my mother died I was so upset I left my purse home drove to the bank the manager knew me and let me withdraw money so I could travel to the funeral. No body thinks completely straight when a family member dies no wonder the woman forgot her seat belt and he forgot his ID that could have happened to anyone! That didn’t justify smashing a window and tasering the man in front of his kids. I wonder if these kids will ever trust police again the little girl was crying hysterically poor baby

  • Dario Lemus

    One of the officers in that video is the one that shot my dog in the face on June 9th. I don’t see his name in the federal complaint. I could be mistaken but I’m going to guess that they don’t want to disclose his name.
    #teamlillypoo

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