Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Christina Klinemann, Commissioner. Cause No. 49F10-1401-CM-5065.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Suzy St. John, Marion County Public Defender, Appellate Division, Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Tyler G. Banks, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Brown, Judge. Crone, J., and Pyle, J., concur.
[¶1] Lakisha Jordan appeals her convictions for resisting law enforcement as a class A misdemeanor and disorderly conduct as a class B misdemeanor. Jordan raises two issues which we consolidate and restate as whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain her convictions. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
Facts and Procedural History
[¶2] On January 31, 2014, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Christopher Nieves was wearing his police uniform and driving his marked police car in the midafternoon. Officer Nieves frequently runs plates " just to check registrations and what not" and determined that the vehicle he was following was a Grand Am but the license plate was registered to a Buick. Transcript at 8. Officer Nieves then activated his lights and initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle driven by Jordan in the 3000 block of Michigan. He approached the driver's side window and asked Jordan to roll down her windows because " she had dark tinted windows." Id. Jordan said that the windows were broken, and Officer
Nieves asked her to open her door so he could speak with her, and Jordan opened the door.
[¶3] Officer Nieves told Jordan why he stopped her and asked for her license and registration. Jordan gave him her license but did not have the registration or the title in the vehicle. He then asked her if she had any weapons in the car which was standard procedure for him, and Jordan immediately became belligerent. Jordan asked " very belligerently" why he asked her if she had a weapon, and Officer Nieves told her it was standard procedure. Id. at 10. Jordan started yelling at him and told him he " was just asking because she was Black. Why would she have a weapon, so on and so forth." Id. Officer Nieves asked her to lower her voice or stop yelling, but she continued to yell. Id.
[¶4] Officer Nieves collected her information and went back to his vehicle to issue a citation. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Adrian Aurs arrived at the scene when Officer Nieves was writing the citations. At some point a tow truck was called because Jordan had a suspended license, she did not have a title to the vehicle, the license plate did not belong to the vehicle, and " the VIN was also expired." Id. at 22.
[¶5] When Officer Nieves returned to Jordan's vehicle to give her the citations and inform her that she could retrieve anything out of the vehicle because he was going to impound it, Jordan was " very angry," yelled at him, and was " talking over [him] to the point where [he] could not even describe the citation to her, what [he] was giving her, etc." Id. at 11. Officer Nieves and Officer Aurs asked Jordan to stop yelling multiple times. Jordan continued to yell, yelled expletives, screamed over Officer Nieves, and called him a motherf-- on several occasions. She cursed at the officers, used vulgarities, and said the officers " just stopped her because she was Black, and [they] needed religion," and that they " couldn't handle a Black woman." Id. at 25. Jordan said: " Ya'll think you run this place, and you're giving me a citation because I'm Black." Id. at 12. Officer Nieves " could never give her the citation, explain what it was, how long she had to pay it, etc." Id. However, he eventually gave her the citations and confirmed that she had her property out of the car.
[¶6] There was a liquor store in the vicinity and a convenience store on the corner directly west of the location and it was " mostly residential right there." Id. at 17. " People in the liquor store lot and across the street came out to see what the commotion was." Id. at 26. Jordan was " being very loud and causing a scene there." Id. at 25-26.
[¶7] Officer Nieves asked Jordan if she had everything out of the vehicle, and Jordan said that she did. She stood five or ten feet from the wrecker driver trying to hook up her vehicle and continued to scream and yell expletives at Officer Nieves and Officer Aurs. Officer Nieves kept telling her to stop, that she was free to leave, that she needed to go, and to be quiet, and Jordan said that she did not need to go.
[¶8] At some point, after Jordan refused to be quiet, Officer Nieves told her that she was under arrest and made a movement toward her to put her in handcuffs, and as soon as he stepped toward her, Jordan did " an immediate 180 and turn[ed] the other direction." Id. at 13. She " attempted to run the other direction away from" Officer Nieves. Id. She had " a hard time getting some traction on the concrete" due to the ice and snow, and Officer Nieves followed behind her and " had to basically run after her" and was able to grab her shoulder after about four or five
steps and pull her into him. Id. at 13, 27. As soon as he grabbed her right shoulder, Jordan yanked her shoulder away, twisted and turned, and started " firing her arms and pulling her body away from [him] so that [he] could not get control of her." Id. at 14. He pulled her in toward him, and swept her legs out from under her to " get her on the ground." Id. Jordan fell " face forward on some snow that was right next to the concrete that she was running on." Id. at 14-15. Officer Nieves then tried to put her in handcuffs, ...