Justice

14-Year-Old Opens Up About Filming Violent Traffic Stop

CREDIT: WRTV

traffic stop

CREDIT: WRTV

Fourteen-year-old Joseph Ivy, who filmed Hammond, Indiana police officers using excessive force at a traffic stop, is now speaking out about the incident.

According to a lawsuit filed on Monday, Lt. Patrick Vicari and Sgt. Charles Turner approached Lisa Mahone’s vehicle after they pulled her over for not wearing a seat belt. Even though Mahone was driving the car, the officers asked Jamal Jones, who was in the passenger seat, for his identification as well. Jones did not have a license, offering other identification information instead, but officers demanded he step out of the car. When Jones refused, claiming that “he never had to get out of a vehicle from the passenger side,” the officers smashed through the passenger windows, used a stun gun on Jones, and pulled him out of the car.

Mahone’s children, including Ivy and her 7-year-old daughter JaNiya Ivy, were in the backseat.

“I was scared, but that’s what really gave me the courage to keep videotaping, because I was scared — and I knew if we took this to court, we had something to fight against them, because police have more power than us,” said the 14-year-old, who used his cellphone to record the incident.

The Hammond Police Department claims one of the officers saw Jones “drop his left hand behind the center console.”

“Fearing for officer safety, the first officer ordered the passenger to show his hands and then repeatedly asked him to exit the vehicle. The passenger continued to refuse to exit the vehicle after approximately thirteen minutes had elapsed and upon request by at least three different officers present at the scene of the stop,” it said in an official statement. “Fearing the occupants of the vehicle may have possessed a weapon, and seeing the passenger repeatedly reach towards the rear seats of the vehicle, the first officer then broke the passenger side window of the vehicle and the passenger was removed from the vehicle and was placed under arrest.”

But the lawsuit filed by Mahone and Jones states that officers on the scene were “highly aggressive.” And both officers were previously involved in excessive force cases. Vicari was tied to three federal lawsuits, while Turner was connected to one.

The interaction further calls into question standard police procedure. But the Supreme Court previously ruled that officers have the ability to determine what constitutes reasonable force.

Watch the video below: