Police video shows Michigan lawmaker trying to avoid handcuffs, complaining of abuse

Beth LeBlanc Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News
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A police video of state Rep. Jewell Jones' arrest earlier this month shows him trying to avoid being handcuffed and yelling that officers were abusing him.

A nearly 30-minute video of the April 6 arrest was posted Friday to YouTube by the Michigan Information & Research Service.

 "I'm already f---ing Black, y'all put me into f---ing cuffs before. ... Y'all really be f---ing harassing me," Jones says 20:28 minutes into the video. 

Jones, 26, was charged April 16 with four counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer; operating a vehicle with a high blood-alcohol content; operating while intoxicated; reckless driving; and possession of a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.

Jones' blood-alcohol content, according to the police report, was 0.19. The legal driving limit is 0.08. A loaded Glock was found in the cupholder of Jones' vehicle, according to the report.

Jones' attorney, Ali Hammoud, said Sunday that prosecutors overcharged his client and that there was no need for police to use the force they did with Jones. He was trying to accompany his passenger to the hospital, Hammoud said.

"We believe the police used excessive force and Mr. Jones was mistreated in this incident," said Hammoud. "If this was not a Black man in Livingston County, he would have in that ambulance and on his way to the hospital."

Jones' black Chevy Tahoe drifted erratically in and out of lanes and rumble strips along Interstate 96 on April 6 before he pulled onto the shoulder and rolled into a ditch, according to the Michigan State Police report from his arrest.

The video begins with Jones trying to persuade police to let him go to the hospital.

The video begins with Jones trying to persuade police to let him go to the hospital.

After his request was denied the video shows an officer asking for Jones' driver's license and registration multiple times before Jones says, "I can't do that." He is then wrestled to the ground. 

The police report said a stun gun was used on Jones twice and he was pepper sprayed as officers tried to handcuff him.

The camera then switches to Jones handcuffed in the backseat of a police car, where he remains for the rest of the video.

A police report The Detroit News obtained Wednesday said Jones told troopers he'd call Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and said he had oversight of their budget.

"I don’t give a f--- bro, when I call Gretchen ill (sic) need yall (sic) ID’s badge numbers everything," Jones said, according to the report.

Jones is serving his third term in the Michigan House. He is a member of the National Guard and Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and an auxiliary officer in Inkster. In the Legislature, Jones is Democratic vice chairman of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

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