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Courts

A bench warrant was issued Monday for a Hammond man accused of resisting law enforcement during a controversial traffic stop captured on cellphone footage four years ago in Hammond.

Judge Nicholas J. Schiralli issued the bench warrant for Jamal S. Jones, 31, who failed to appear Monday in Lake Superior Court for a pretrial conference on charges of resisting law enforcement, refusal to aid an officer and a seat belt violation, according to court records.

Defense attorney Scott King said Tuesday morning Jones was in custody for an unrelated matter in Illinois. The warrant was issued so Jones could be extradited back to Lake County after his Illinois case is resolved. 

Jones is serving a prison sentence at Statesville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois for unlawful possession of a loaded gun and aggravated driving under the influence, according to the Indiana Department of Corrections website. He is scheduled to be released on parole Nov. 7. 

King also filed a petition Monday seeking to withdraw from Jones' criminal case. He declined to comment on that decision. King said the judge took his petition under advisement. 

Jones, 31, allegedly refused to exit a vehicle Sept. 24, 2014, after a traffic stop for a seat belt violation near Cline Avenue and 169th Street in Hammond, records state. A video of the arrest showed a police officer smashing the passenger's side window of the car and shocking the passenger, Jones, with a stun gun before pulling him from the vehicle.

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A 14-year-old boy, who was seated in the back of the vehicle with his 7-year-old sister, recorded a video of the arrest, which was the subject of a federal excessive force lawsuit filed in October 2014 against the city and Hammond police officers Patrick Vicari and Charles Turner.

The federal lawsuit has been stayed while the criminal charges are pending. Magistrate Judge John E. Martin scheduled a conference on the status of the lawsuit for Oct. 24 in the U.S. District Court in Hammond.

A new court hearing in the misdemeanor case was scheduled for September 2019.

A criminal trial for Jones in November 2016 ended in a mistrial, records state.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.