Earlier this week, footage from a dash cam video was released by the Crown Point Police Department in Indiana showing another heinous act from those sworn to protect us. One January night in 2012, James Reiner was doing what any other husband would do if their wife was going into labor. He was driving his wife, Dana, to the hospital. This would soon turn out to be a night they’d always remember, for all the wrong reasons.
As James was heading to the hospital, he noticed a police car turn on their lights and begin to pursue them. He knew he needed to get to the hospital and decided to call 911 and explain the situation to the dispatcher. After being told by dispatch that pulling over and explaining the situation would be best, he did. Though Dana was still in labor, he hoped the officers would understand and allow them to get to the hospital, but that didn’t happen.
The driver side window was broken, so he opened the door and tried to yell to police that his wife was in labor over the blaring sirens. Sgt. Anthony Dandurand and Officer Travis Thomas were not having any of it, one of the officers screamed:
I will shoot you, you piece of shit! Get on the ground!
As you can see in the video, he also felt the need to mash James’ face down into the ground — even though you can clearly see he is being compliant. James, face-down and handcuffed, pleaded with the officer, but he was too drunk on his own power to care, he said:
Now you’re going to be in the Lake County Jail when your kid is born.
It gets worse, even Dana got unwarranted gun action from another officer when trying to show that her water broke. According to Dana, the cop pointed his gun at her stomach and told her to “get in the f*cking car.” You can hear another officer tell Dandurand he would “get rid of the video.”
After twenty minutes these stellar officers finally had an ambulance take her to the hospital, her husband was taken to Lake County Jail and missed the birth. As it turns out, her husband was doing the right thing rushing her to the hospital, because the umbilical cord was wrapped around that baby’s neck — doctors said the baby would have died if she’d given birth on the side of the road while they were being detained.
The couple filed a lawsuit against the department in 2013. In July 2014 a U.S. District magistrate judge ruled that their constitutional rights were violated when they continued to be detained even after the officers knew she was in labor:
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,” Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry wrote.
At what point in this transaction between these officers and this couple, did it warrant such use of force? How dangerous did they think a woman in labor and a terrified husband really were? This video is another horrific example of despicable behavior by “fine” officers, many of whom have forgotten what “protect and serve” means.
Watch the disturbing video below:
Featured image via video screenshot