Saturday, September 26, 2015

Were these cops high?  Totally irrational and aggressive behavior

But they get off Scot-free.  How can Americans put up with this sort of thing?

The mother concerned

Dashcam footage captured the horrifying moment two police officers drew their guns on a husband and wife after pulling them over while they were rushing to the hospital to give birth.

James Reiner was driving his wife Dana to the hospital after her water broke in January 2012 in Hebron, Indiana when they passed a police car that suddenly turned on its lights and pulled them over, despite the fact that they were not speeding.

That is when James got out to tell Sgt. Anthony Dandurand that his wife was pregnant and they needed to get to the hospital. He responded by cuffing the man on the ground while another officer, Travis Thomas, held a gun on James.

Dana then tried to show the men that her waters had indeed broken - and they pointed a gun directly at her belly and yelled at her to 'get back in the fu**ing car.'

Dana was eventually picked up at the scene by an ambulance and taken to the hospital where she gave birth just minutes later according to an interview she did with The Times of Northwest Indiana.

The doctor had to pause her delivery twice in that brief time to unwrap Dana's daughter's umbilical cord, later saying that had she given birth on the side of the road the child would have died.

In the end, Dana gave birth to a healthy baby girl she named Abigail.

James was not there however, because despite the fact that Dana proved she was pregnant and in labor, police still took him to jail and booked him, forcing him to spend the night and miss his daughter's birth.

'That’s a moment you are never going to get back. There’s no redoing it,' said Dana.

'When I think about the fact that James, who is a wonderful man, was deprived of that - it makes me sad. And it makes me sad that Abby missed out on that, too. They missed out on that very first, that bond.'

A U.S. District magistrate agreed with Dana in July 2014, when he ruled that the officers had absolutely no right to detain the couple after learning Dana was in pregnant, let alone take James to jail.

'The court does not think a reasonable officer, after realizing (as Officers Dandurand and Thomas did soon after handcuffing James) that plaintiffs were en route to the hospital to have their baby, would have continued to detain them, much less have kept James under arrest and taken him to jail for the night.

'To the contrary: such conduct, at that point, violates the clearly established guarantees of the Fourth Amendment,' wrote Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry.

The Reiners reached a settlement with the police department in May, but neither of the officers has ever been punished in any way for their actions that night.

And the men not only violated the constitutional rights of the Reiners as a judge later declared, but they also can be heard on the dashcam video six minutes into the arrest saying they will delete the video.

On the second dashcam video after 14 minutes an officer can be heard saying they know how to delete dashcam footage.

Both officers can also be heard saying to James over the course of the dashcam videos from Dandurand and Thomas' cars that he will be going to jail and missing the birth of his child because he tried to flee from police.

Dandurand also later claimed that he had been chasing the couple for five miles, when in fact it was just over one mile until they pulled over.

He also said that he was advised to take James into custody by Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Soto, though she later said the officer had misled her at the time. The Reiners attorney said that Soto later said to him that 'she felt angry toward Sgt. Dandurand, because she felt that he hadn’t been truthful with her.'

The worst part now is that this still is not over as the couple must work to expunge James' record.  'We still have a process that we have to go through to clear his name, so that it’s not detrimental to his career,' said Dana.

Original report here

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