A seven-month pregnant black woman was handcuffed at gunpoint by police in Indiana as she sat in her own car eating ice cream, because a bogus 911 caller claimed she had threatened to shoot someone.
La’Tasha Tyler was sitting in her car in the parking lot of a G.D. Ritzy’s in Evansville on July 27 when she was confronted by cops responding to a call claiming she threatened another woman with a gun.
Bodycam footage from the incident shows half a dozen officers ordering Tyler from her car while she repeatedly asks what she was supposed to have done wrong.
Officers in the video can be heard saying how they believe the 911 call to have been ‘complete bulls**t’, and they later let Tyler go.
But she has hit out on Facebook, claiming cops placed her and her unborn child’s life in danger.
La’Tasha Tyler was ordered from her car at gunpoint in Evansville, Indiana, on July 27 and placed in handcuffs after an apparently bogus 911 call claimed she had a gun
The department has defended their officers’ actions, however, amid claims they overreacted in pulling their guns on the young, unarmed and heavily pregnant black woman.
‘There’s a way to do things and a way not,’ attorney David Mour, who is representing Tyler, told Tristate.
‘I get the police have to be safe, etc., but I submit to you that if this were a caucasian lady that was seven months pregnant, I doubt this would have been handled in the same manner.’
Evansville police responded on July 27 at around 7 p.m. to an anonymous 911 call that claimed a black woman had pulled a gun on another woman in the parking lot on Green River Road.
‘She has a gun in her car,’ the anonymous caller said in the 911 call provided by police and published on Facebook.
‘She’s out there fighting with another girl, and she’s pulling a gun on her.’
The caller gave Tyler’s vehicle registration number during the call and when officers arrived at the scene, they found her still sitting in the car on the parking lot.
As seen in the bodycam video, police found no gun in Tyler’s possession or in her car and quickly released her without charge.
Police responded to the call in a parking lot in Evansville at around 7pm on July 27
An officer is seen immediately pulling his gun as they order the pregnant Tyler out of the car
Police later found that the woman who made the 911 call has problems with her mental health.
No charges have been filed for filing a false report but EPD spokesman Sgt. Nick Winsett said that may change.
He said that for a charge to be filed, they must prove criminal intent which could be difficult given the caller’s mental health.
Tyler remained unhappy about the incident, however, and wrote an angry post on Facebook about the unexpected run-in with the cops.
‘Apparently this lady called and told them I had a gun and was shooting at her so they treated me like dirt and made me get on my knees in a puddle to handcuff me for NO REASON!’ she wrote in the post, which is no longer public.
‘Every time I tried to talk they acted like they were going to shoot me!’ she continued.
‘All I had was ice cream in the car! I even told them I was seven months pregnant and had no idea what had happened before I arrived and I’m not a criminal and have a gun whatsoever.
‘The almost took my f*****g life and my child’s. F**k Evansville Indiana,’ she added.
Evansville police took issue with Tyler’s post and decided to release the bodycam footage and 911 call in response.
Tyler accused officers of putting her and her unborn child’s life in danger
La’Tasha Tyler, who is seven months pregnant, was sitting in her own car eating ice cream in the parking lot of a G.D. Ritzy’s in Evansville when she was placed in handcuffs at gunpoint
The police department posted the bodycam footage in response to Tyler’s claims
‘This is part one of a four part post about an incident that happened last night,’ they wrote to their own Facebook page on July 28, sharing Tyler’s message but taking out her name.
‘The below is a screenshot that has been shared over 1700 times and has inaccurate information.’
The video of the brief arrest shows at least one officer pointing a gun at Tyler as she is ordered out of her car and walks backwards toward the officers.
She is then asked to kneel and placed in handcuffs.
The young woman can be heard repeatedly asking what she has done wrong and telling officers she is pregnant.
‘I’m seven months pregnant!’ Tyler told an officer. ‘What am I doing wrong?’
Officers explain the 911 call they received and she tells them she doesn’t have a gun and that they can search her car.
‘Here’s the reason you got taken out of the car like you did,’ the officer said. ‘We just got called and your car and license plate was given as the description of people that just pulled a gun on somebody at Ritzy’s.’
‘I don’t have a gun, you can check my car,’ Tyler responded.
‘I think this is going to be complete bullsh**,’ the officer is then heard saying as he walks toward the car and another can be heard suggesting that Tyler had annoyed somebody, causing them to make a false 911 call about her.
‘I’m going to say that someone’s probably pissed off at this little girl,’ the officer says, as they are shown rummaging through her car but failing to find any firearm.
The cop wearing the bodycam agrees as they continue the search on the car.
‘I’m gonna say that you’re probably right,’ he said. ‘I’m [going to say] someone is pissed off at this little girl.’
Tyler told the cops she had done nothing and told them to search her car
As cops searched the car, they said how they believed the call about a gun was ‘bullsh**’
The officers then return to Tyler and quickly take off her handcuffs as they tell her why they had been put on in the first place.
‘We’re not doubting your words,’ one officer says.
‘That’s the reason these came off as quick as they went on, and I’m about to send you on your way because I believe you,’ adds another.
‘We know it’s embarrassing to you, and we’re sorry,’ the first officer adds. ‘I want you to understand that. I truly do…but we’ve got to approach our job as we do.’
The police department hit back at Tyler’s claims that they had made ‘disparaging comments’ to her while she was placed in handcuffs and that they had placed her life at risk.
‘None of these things were true,’ said Sgt. Nick Winsett.
‘This is policing 101. What they did in the video was textbook.
‘Any time it’s high risk, we don’t have certain traffic stops for different races, it’s all high risk or it’s not. In this case, it was considered a high risk traffic stop.’
Protesters gathered near the Civic Center in Evansville last week after Tyler’s story emerged.
Organizer Cassandra Coffey told Courier & Press that falsely telling police a person of color has a gun is essentially attempted murder.
Tyler’s attorney Mour has also asked that the department take down the bodycam footage and the recording on the 911 complaint from social media.
‘I said, “Well, if I put something on my Facebook page, which is private, a few people may see it. If the Evansville Police Department post something, thousands and thousands of people are potentially going to see it,” and it’s a different optic and a different look,’ he said.
His request was declined.
Police said that the bodycam video was uploaded in response to Tyler’s claims about the incident of Facebook.