After about five minutes, the second officer came up to the driver’s side passenger and demanded that one of my passengers get out. He yelled, “You, get out!” My guest unbuckled and got out of the car. The only direction given was to just stand there beside the vehicle. The officers then went back to their vehicles for approximately 10 minutes as she stood alone.
After the 10 minute wait, the passenger was told she could get back in the vehicle. No words were exchanged or any reason given for this specific treatment. I hope it wasn’t just an intimidation tactic because her skin was much darker than the others’ in the vehicle. Additionally, one of my passengers did not have her ID with her, yet she was not asked to step out of the vehicle. It made me wonder about the training our local police department is being given and by whom.
After the officer issued my front passenger and myself a ticket for seat belt infractions, we were again informed that it is the law for everyone to show their ID. With a wait of about 30 minutes for a seat belt infraction, a person has time to wonder about a few things.
After this encounter, I did look up the law regarding seat belt stops and it may be that the officer has been incorrectly trained and/or does not have an understanding of the law. He may want to identify all passengers - his explanation was that he may find a wanted criminal at a traffic stop - but if it is unlawful to do so, then it must not be allowed.
Indiana code is IC 9-19-10-3.1
Stopping, inspecting, or detaining vehicle; checkpoints
Sec. 3.1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a vehicle may be stopped to determine compliance with this chapter. However, a vehicle, the contents of a vehicle, the driver of a vehicle, or a passenger in a vehicle may not be inspected, searched, or detained solely because of a violation of this chapter.