Joliet, Ill., officials are in the beginning stages of investigating a traffic stop that resulted in a violent altercation between police officers and 21-year-old Milton Travis. As The Root reports, Travis was on his way home on Friday night when he was pulled over. The police officer alleges that he ran a stop sign, and that “officers had to aggressively apply their brakes on their squad car to avoid making contact with the other vehicle.”
The officers then honked their horn at Travis, who pulled over and stopped his vehicle. When the officers approached the vehicle, Travis did not roll his window down. In the video, recorded by 19-year-old Deandra Robinson, one of the vehicle’s passengers, the officer who approached the car could be heard clearly through the glass.
“What was your probable cause of pulling me over?” Travis asked. The officer told him that if he did not roll his window down, he would be arrested. Travis did not roll his window down, and the police officer smashed the window in response. Then, Travis was forcibly removed from the car. The officers appeared to “violently beat him with a nightstick as bystanders and the other passengers helplessly look on.”
The police officers involved in the incident allege that Travis “resisted the officer’s efforts to remove him from the vehicle,” and that they had no choice but to “increase their response to his resistance to the arrest.” One of Travis’ passengers, 23-year-old Maurice Bass, was tasered for noncompliance.
Police charged Travis with “obstructing a police officer, resisting a police officer, disobeying a stop sign, disobeying a police officer and operating an uninsured motor vehicle,” while Bass and Robinson were charged with “resisting a police officer.”
In a statement released by the Joliet Police Department, Chief of Police Brian Benton said the following.
“We will be reviewing the dash-cam videos, audio-recordings, police reports, and any other relevant information to determine if the officers acted in accordance with department policy and within the scope of the law.”
Milton’s hand was reportedly fractured due to the incident.
When asked about the incident, Robison said that Travis “didn’t feel like he needed to get out because there was no reason for them pulling us over in the first place.” She states that he did not run a stop sign, ignore the police, and rolled the window down just enough to speak to the police when they approached the vehicle, according to The Herald-News.
Robinson said disobedience was not the reason they did not exit the car, but rather it was fear.
“That was our fear. We didn’t want anything to happen to us, and that’s why we didn’t get out of the car.”