A wild story of police stalking, DUI allegations and excessive force were brought to light earlier this month when body cameras on Clarksville, IN Police officers saved a man from jail time. According to WaveNews 3:
Ghassan Yaldo, known as Jimmy Yaldo, was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence because police said he was trying to back down Auburn Avenue at 3:55 a.m. Yaldo is the owner of the America’s Best Inn in Clarksville and the Economy Inn in Louisville.
Body camera video, taken from a police officer, showed the officer ask Yaldo if he had been drinking and Yaldo said he had two drinks.
In the police report, the officer said, “I could smell a strong odor commonly associated with an alcoholic beverage.”
“He had a couple of beers over a long period of time so he wasn’t under the influence,” Mort Meisner, a spokesperson for the family, said.
The report states Yaldo failed several of the sobriety tests and eventually blew a .106 in a breathalyzer.
That’s when police tried to arrest Yaldo and things got violent.
“It was chilling,” Meisner said of the body camera video. “What they did to him was over the top, over the line.”
Bart Adams, a local defense attorney, said there would not have been any violence if Yaldo had obeyed.
“If you trust them with respect, they will treat you with respect,” Adams said. “If you don’t treat them with respect, then you’re liable to get hurt.”
Adams said people have started to ignore officers more and more.
“I don’t think the police officers were over-zealous at all,” Adams said. “What I think is happening is you’re seeing a general public that thinks they don’t have to listen to the police officers or obey their orders.”
A jury disagreed when the case went to trial in October and decided the police were too aggressive, including their language, which included shouting profanity.
“It just showed he [the officer] had malice and anger and he wanted to be in control,” Meisner said. “We hope certainly he’s held accountable.”
There are many factors at play here that I’m not even sure where to start. In the video you can hear Yaldo question why the officers are at his place to begin with. Late in the video one of the unidentified (as of yet) officers calls Yaldo’s business trash so one could believe that the police are always hanging around. This was on private property and one can understand why a property owner (especially one that has a business) wouldn’t want the cops hanging around. Just read some of the recent businesses to refuse service to police officers here.
The fact that the police detained Yaldo for ‘alleged’ DUI when he had yet to reach a public roadway seems to confirm that accusation. It appears that Yaldo came down from his business, in his vehicle, to inquire why the cops were at his property. When the Clarksville Police officer said he smelled alcohol he conducted a sobriety test and that’s where it started to go wrong.
Yaldo was polite while he asked questions about the treatment he was receiving. He was even being harassed by officers who were on scene for backup, especially the unknown officer wearing the body cam above, and still responded politely to them.
When Yaldo was told he was being arrested he attempted to inquire more about the legality of his arrest but the police didn’t allow it. They escalated their force, took him to the ground and forcefully handcuffed him. All the while saying textbook lines like, “Stop resisting.” They even went as far as tasing him while on the ground with three grown men on his back.
Thankfully the video helped to clear Yaldo of the officer’s vindictive (for whatever reasons) actions and to help expose the police for what they are, thugs. Who else would respond to “I’m not a criminal” with “Well you are now?” Sorry Clarksville police officers but you’re the criminals!
This also isn’t the first time Clarksville, IN Police have made the pages of CopBlock.org, see their first post here for tasing a man who “wouldn’t get off his moped.”