Nearly 7 million people have viewed a Facebook video of police officers breaking the car window and pointing guns at a Colorado Springs, Colo., couple who refused to hand over identification during a traffic stop in Saline, Kan.
According to Hays Post, Tia Jones was driving on Interstate 70 in Salina when she was stopped by a police officer for failure to maintain a lane. As the video begins, the police officer—talking through a small slit on the passenger side—asks for identification when he is interrupted by the male passenger.
“You don’t need to see anything,” Jonathan Devan Ayers, the male passenger, interjects. “I’m a traveler, not a driver.” Ayers continues to look through his wallet as he talks to the officer.
“I understand you’re not a driver,” retorts the officer. “I’m talking to the female driver.”
Ayers responds: “She’s a traveler, too! She doesn’t need any identification!”
Ayers, apparently having found what he was searching for in his wallet, begins to read a passage from a card explaining why neither he nor the passenger is required to show a license. As he explains why “a driver’s license is a privilege,” the officer calmly explains that he still needs to see her driver’s license. Ayers replies, “No, you don’t!”
That’s when the trouble begins. As Ayers explains to the officer how he took an oath to the Constitution, why he’s out of his jurisdiction and why the cop is “finna lose your job,” infusing his explanation with Latin phrases and legalese, the cop is visibly confused and frustrated. As the cop tells Ayers and the driver about the infraction, Ayers tells the cop that since “failure to maintain a lane” is not in the Constitution, none of the “fractions and legislations” are a legal basis for a stop.
Usually, this is when the cop starts shooting. Either this officer sees the camera or he is one of the rare “good cops” we hear so much about but who—like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster—have never been caught on camera. After making numerous requests for identification, the officer listens to Ayers explain that unless they have robbed or killed someone, the officer cannot ask them for identification.
The driver of the vehicle says nothing, and the cop—to his credit—is being patient as hell. Ayers tells the officer that he has already handed him a paper with his rights, and he should read it. Then Ayers and the driver decide to talk to the officer’s supervisor: God.
In the middle of the exchange, Ayers and Jones break into a lengthy prayer, begging God to “get him out my face right now!” Ayers asks the Heavenly Father to bind the demons and make them flee the car. The officer, confused and obviously kinda scared, just stands and listens.
The couple roll the car window all the way up, but you can see the cop calling for backup, because—if God is going to come and smite him, I guess he needs witnesses. He knocks on the window, begging for a driver’s license, but Jones and Ayers just keep praying. Hard.
So the cop goes and gets what Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan called a “less than lethal” weapon (although it looks exactly like an assault rifle). Ayers and Jones take their prayers to level 10, pleading, “Please, Father, don’t let him shoot us.”
Then you hear a bang. The couple starts screaming. Have they been shot?
Nah, the cops just broke out the window.
Both occupants of the vehicle were charged and booked into the Saline County Detention Center. Jones was charged with interference with a law-enforcement officer, misdemeanor obstruction and driving while her license was suspended. Ayers was also charged with interference with a law-enforcement officer and misdemeanor obstruction.
The terminology that Ayers uses to explain himself to the officer seems to come from the “sovereign citizens” movement, a nationwide philosophy that believes that state, local and federal law-enforcement officers operate illegally. The movement also teaches that true citizens aren’t bound by laws that govern driver’s licenses, income taxes and even Social Security numbers.
Adherents have had a number of run-ins with law enforcement, including Korryn Gaines, who was famously shot and killed by police officers in her Baltimore home more than a year ago.
The Saline County Sheriff’s Office says that officers often talk through the passenger-side window when stopping cars on the interstate for safety reasons, and that passengers who interfere with the police duties can be charged with obstruction.
The video was posted in the Facebook group the People’s Content, and administrators say that it was posted anonymously.
View the entire video below:
Read more at Hays Post.