Shalandra Jones of Detroit, Michigan, has finally received some justice. Jones was awarded $40,000 in a settlement on August 31 for the way she was treated during a traffic stop in the Michigan town of Dearborn in 2012. Due to her admission that she had HIV, police officer David Lacey subsequently gave her a ticket for marijuana possession. While Jones’ medical marijuana card was expired at the time, charges have since been dropped.
While some may try to justify the charge, according to the Detroit Free Press, Officer Lacey openly admits on camera:
“Honestly, if it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I would have wrote anybody for anything. But that kind of really aggravated me, you know what I mean? You got to tell me right away… Because at the time, I wasn’t wearing any gloves.”
Also on the video, Officer Lacey said he:
“…did not want to take any diseases home to his family… Dearborn does not have that many people living with HIV, and the police do not like people with HIV.”
So not only does Officer Lacey feel he is entitled to write tickets based on his aggravation level, he is also an expert on HIV. It’s no secret that 2014 and 2015 have seen a backlash against police officers abusing their positions, even to the point of killing people. This was in 2012, so police overreach is not a new phenomenon.
Perhaps one the more disturbing statements Officer Lacey made to Jones in the video is when he stated:
“So that way we don’t get pissed. Cause otherwise we get pissed. Bad things happen… I found a needle on a guy once and he didn’t tell me… He’s not going to forget anymore.”
Sounds like a real nice family man and all around good guy. Aren’t officers trained in handling aggravating situations and how to handle getting “pissed.” The Detroit Free Press also notes:
“People with HIV are not required to tell police they have it. Jones told the officer she had HIV after he asked her about medication in her car that she uses to treat HIV.”
In the end, Jones at least received some kind of compensation from the department for her ordeal with Officer Lacey. In this day and age you would think that this type of ignorance towards HIV would be behind us. Once again, police training, anyone? It’s not like Jones had a stash of needles and paraphernalia in her vehicle.
Watch the video below:
Featured image via YouTube screen capture