Dean was arrested for resisting arrest and “refusing to identify,” an Indiana statute that requires a person to give their name, address and date of birth to “a law enforcement officer who has stopped the person for an infraction or ordinance violation.”

But was Jaquon Dean wrong?

James Reynolds is not an Indianapolis police officer.

Even though the word “police” was emblazoned across his chest, James Reynolds does not appear to have been acting in the capacity of a police officer when he asked Dean for his identification. According to RTV, “Reynolds runs a security company, Reynolds Security Consulting Corp., out of Plainfield and is also a reserve officer for the town of Sheridan.”


As far as Dean’s refusal to identify himself, Indiana law does indeed require people who are reasonably suspected of a crime to identify themselves. And Indiana’s loitering code does say that refusing to identify oneself gives police reasonable suspicion to believe a suspect may have violated the loitering law.

But if Dean had simply followed Reynolds’ instructions and Googled the Indiana loitering law, he would have discovered that the definition for loitering specify that it must take place in a public “way, street, highway, place or alley.”


Furthermore, in Adam Starr v. The State of Indiana (pdf), an Indiana appeals court reversed the conviction of a man who was arrested for refusing to identify himself to police when he wouldn’t give police his ID as the passenger of a car during a police stop.

In the decision, the court ruled that: “There was no reasonable suspicion that [Starr] had committed an infraction or ordinance violation, giving rise to an obligation to identify himself upon threat of criminal prosecution,” adding that the Refusal to Identify Self-law “criminalizes the refusal to comply with an officer’s lawful request.”


So if Jaquon Dean was on the property where he lived, was he loitering? If Dean was not on public property, as the loitering law requires, how could officers have “reasonable suspicion?” If the officer who asked him for his ID was not actually working as a police officer, was Dean wrong for refusing to identify himself? Also, how can Dean be arrested for resisting arrest?

The answer to all of your questions is ‘yes,’ Dean was wrong. Because, despite what the law says, Jaquon Dean is black and the officers were white. And in Indianapolis, in Indiana and in America, the words of a fake cop using made-up laws trumps the freedom of a black man.


Jaquon Dean is black.

And that is all that matters.