Two Hammond, Indiana police officers who violently attacked an unarmed black man during a routine traffic stop have been allowed to return back to the force.
The city’s mayor cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, but the FBI agent in charge of the investigation denies that, saying the case is ongoing and the officers have yet to be cleared.
“At this point, no,”[Bob] Ramsey said. “The Hammond police department has been very open with us, very cooperative, very forthcoming through this entire process. They have provided us information pertaining to the events that happened on the day of question. However, we are still in the process of gathering additional information and a review is not complete at this point.”Asked to respond, Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. is sticking to his guns.He says he received a letter on Sunday from another FBI agent that the officers were cleared and it was appropriate to put them back on patrol.Officers Patrick Vicari and Charles Turner, who are white, were caught on video smashing a window and tasing an unarmed black passenger during an incident that stirred outrage at both the local and national level.The news of their reinstatement came just hours before a Grand Jury decided not to indict the police officer at the center of events in Ferguson.“Now that we received the results back from the FBI, I made the decision, we made the decision to place both of these officers back on duty,” McDermott. said Monday afternoon. “They will be back on duty immediately.”
The police officers have been on desk duties since the Sept. 24 incident.
Lisa Mahone, a black motorist, was pulled over for not wearing her seatbelt. Officers Vicari and Turner stopped her on 169th near Cline Avenue. They quickly turned attention to 42-year-old Jamal Jones who was in the passenger seat. They ordered him to produce identification and get out of the car. After Jones spent several minutes attempting to explain that he had no I.D. and refused to exit the vehicle, the officers smashed the passenger car window, used a taser and arrested him.
The incident was recorded by Mahone’s 14-year-old son in the backseat. A young girl sitting next to him can be heard crying in the video.
No charges against them have been filed.
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