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An Indiana couple who were on their way to the hospital to give birth claim that police officers unlawfully pulled them over and then pointed a gun at the pregnant woman's belly while arresting the father-to-be so that he missed his daughter's birth.
Dana and James Reiner were driving to the hospital in January 2012 when a police cruiser turned on its siren and lights to signal the car to pull over. James Reiner instead called 911 to alert the police vehicle that he and his wife was on their way to give birth and continued driving for another mile before pulling over after the police cruiser persisted.
As soon as James Reiner opens the car door and before he can get out of the car, Hebron officer Anthony Dandurand can he heard in the video yelling at him to show his hands. "I will shoot you, you piece of shit! Get on the ground!"
Even as Reiner tries to plead with the officer, Dandurand shoves the man's head onto the ground and handcuffs him.
Meanwhile Dana Reiner is desperately crying "I'm in labor."
She later told the NW Times that when she got out of the car to show the officers her water had broken she saw a laser gun sight on her belly, as the other cop, Travis Thomas, tells her to "get back in the fucking car."
"I thought 'OK', I'm not going to let them shoot my kid," she said. "I got back in the car."
Roughly 15 minutes into the stop, the officers call an ambulance. The parents-to-be try to plead for help before it arrives, but Dandurand reportedly told James Reiner "you will be in jail tonight, and you will not be there when your child is born."
The cops took Reiner to Porter County Jail, where he spent the night and missed the birth of his daughter.
In a lawsuit later filed by the couple, the Reiners claim that they were not speeding at the time and that the stop was unlawful.
The NW Times also reports that Dandurand alleged the car chase went on for five miles — a statement he later retracted when the dashcam footage was played in court, forcing the cop to admit the chase was only a mile long.
The video also includes some remarkable audio: After the police realize that the couple really did have a medical emergency, one officer can be heard saying, twice, "I'll get rid of the video." Another officer, presumably Dandurand since it's his cruiser's dash cam video, can be heard saying, "Ah, I don't care about the video."
Portage Police Chief Troy Williams has defended Officer Dandurand, saying he had been a model employee since joining his department in 2012 and "should not be demonized for one unfortunate incident."
Photo by Corwin Deckard/Flickr
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