In the incident, which was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube, Aaron Blackwell and his cousin Durell Cunningham were stopped outside a Nordstrom Rack in Indianapolis after a security guard, identified as Lawrence Township Deputy Constable Daryl Jones, screened their car’s license plate for no apparent reason.
"He watched us buy everything, and then followed us to the car," the YouTube video description, which was uploaded by one of the men, reads.
Jones then approaches the two men who are in their car and asks to see their identification. When asked why he needs to see their identification, the deputy constable responds, “Because I told you to,” later adding, “Because you want to run your mouth to me.”
When the two men confront the officer and tell him that he doesn’t have the right to screen the car’s license plate, Jones yells, “I got my rights to do anything I want to do … I’m a police officer.” Jones also threatens to “lock” the two men up and tow their car if they don’t present their driver’s licenses. Jones repeatedly tells the two men throughout the encounter that they are “acting suspicious” but fails to fails to provide any additional details or context for his claims when prompted for an explanation.
At one point, Jones calls for backup, and shortly afterwards, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer shows up.
“These guys were inside there,” Jones tells the unidentified police officer. “They got a bunch of stuff. Then, they run their mouth to me as they were leaving, trying to make sure I didn’t get their license plate, and then he didn’t want to show me ID.”
After Jones and the officer talk privately for a few minutes, Jones comes back, tells Cunningham and Blackwell that they are “free to go” and then leaves.
The men then have a conversation with the officer, who backs up the two men’s position: they had no need to identify themselves, since there was no reasonable suspicion that they committed any sort of crime.
“As far as I know, based upon what happened, I don’t think either of us have any reasonable suspicion to believe there’s a crime taking place,” the officer said. “There’s no reason for a traffic stop at this point, so there’s no legal requirement for you to identify yourself.”
According to Lawrence Township Chief Constable Terry Burns, he fired Jones within two hours of watching the video.