A Dearborn, Mich., police officer was caught on tape telling a man and a woman that he was issuing them traffic and marijuana possession tickets because he was "aggravated" that the woman failed to disclose her HIV-positive status before he searched the couple's car. The incident has raised allegations of discrimination and violations of civil rights.
The police dashboard video, obtained by the American Independent through a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request, shows what should have been a routine traffic stop last month. During the traffic stop, the officer discovered the woman is HIV-positive when he allegedly found her HIV medications and asked her, "What are these?" (This exchange occurs about 14 minutes into the video.)
The video shows Dearborn Police Officer David Lacey telling Shalandra Jones that she should disclose her HIV-positive status whenever a police officer asks her to step out of a vehicle. He said he was "pissed" that Lacey hadn't disclosed her status before he searched the vehicle, and he told the couple: "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, 'I've got this. I've got that.' 'Cause at that time, I wasn't wearing any gloves."
Legal experts say there is no legal obligation in Michigan for a person with HIV to disclose his or her status to a police officer.
Read the full American Independent story.