A black man from Indianapolis filmed himself being harassed by police officers and then arrested for committing the heinous crime of sitting in his own car on his own property.
Jaquon Dean was working on his car in the parking lot of his apartment complex when he was approached by a security guard. The guard asked Dean for his identification despite there being no reason to think he was committing a crime. He called in backup as well when Dean wouldn’t comply.
Eventually, the officers pull Dean out of the car and arrest him for failing to show them his ID. The dispute here appears to be over whether or not these officers had a right to demand Dean identify himself. In Indiana, it is a Class C Misdemeanor to refuse to identify oneself to a police officer who requests it.
However, courts have ruled that officers must have a “reasonable suspicion” that the subject has committed an infraction or ordinance violation.
And all he was doing was sitting in a car. Hardly reasonable suspicion.
On top of that, the first cop who approached Dean is not an Indianapolis Police Officer. James Reynolds runs a private security firm called Reynolds Security Consulting Corp, and is a reserve officer for the Sheridan Police Department, about 45 miles north from Southport, where this incident took place.
He did work for the Marion County Sheriff’s Department for a time, but was fired in 2013.
Despite that vest he has on that says “POLICE” he’s not a cop there and would not have had the authority to arrest Dean. In the wake of the viral video, the Sheridan Police Department now says Reynolds is no longer employed with them as a reserve officer.
The other man on camera, Robert Patterson, is a sergeant with the Southport PD, though he also works part-time for Reynolds’ security company. His status is unknown as the local authorities conduct their own investigation.
So what reason did they give for suspecting Jaquon Dean of a crime other than “He’s black”?
According to WTHR, officers had “been on the lookout for a burglary suspect in the area with a similar description who had stolen a television from a nearby home.”
And, by “similar description,” I think we all know what they mean.
Black person steals a television? Arrest every black person in the area breathing oxygen until they’re found. Dean is charged with resisting arrest and refusing to identify. He also says he sustained a hand injury during the encounter.
What do you guys think? Is it possible to “loiter” when you’re in your own car at your own home? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.