A routine traffic stop in a Chicago suburb turned violent after a driver and two passengers allegedly assaulted the police officer by beating and strangling him.
On Wednesday, Aurora, Illinois, officials announced that Sheba Taylor, 26, Jennifer Taylor, 24, and Paul Sherrod Taylor, 28, had been indicted by a grand jury on charges that included felony attempted murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery.
Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said the officer, identified in court indictment records obtained by CNN as Joaquin Miranda, was treated after the June 21 incident, released from the hospital, and is back on duty during a news conference.
In response to a question, the chief said she didn’t know if “you can argue that it (race) plays a part,” noting that the officer who pulled over the three Black defendants for a traffic infraction was Hispanic.
“A minor infraction that likely would have resulted in a citation at most, turned into an officer fighting for his life,” Ziman said.
The Kane County public defender’s office declined to comment on the charges faced by the defendants.
Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser showed police dash camera footage appearing to show a vehicle rolling through an intersection, which police said failed to adhere to a stop sign, followed by the officer initiating the traffic stop.
After being pulled over and asked for identification, the driver, later identified as Paul Sherrod Taylor, was heard responding with profanities and refusing to comply with the officer’s request.
The officer then warns a female passenger to return to the car or be arrested for obstruction. The woman can be heard on audio from the police dashcam system telling the officer not to touch her and several times requesting the presence of a female officer.
An Aurora police spokesman told CNN that officers do not have body worn cameras, but the department expects to acquire them by the end of the year.
The driver then exited the car and approached the officer while threatening to assault him.
The dash camera video shows the officer attempting to arrest the driver, and, after the suspect flees beyond view of the camera, the system’s audio captures a lengthy police foot pursuit.
CNN has submitted a records request for the full-length video files.
Police also released audio from a 911 call the driver placed as he was fleeing the officer.
He’s heard complaining about the actions of police and tells the dispatcher he is going to kill the officer.
Authorities said in a post on the police department’s Facebook page that one of the passengers chased the officer as he attempted to catch the driver, which caused the officer to turn and attempt to arrest her for obstruction, but he was unsuccessful in getting her under his control.
She is repeatedly heard on the dash camera audio yelling, “Get off of me.” Authorities said in the Facebook post that both women began striking and kicking the officer, who was allegedly beaten and strangled during the encounter.
“The officer heard a male’s voice and then was struck repeatedly in the head from several angles,” according to the police Facebook post.
Separate dash camera video from another responding officer appears to show one of the women on top of the officer as he tried to arrest the male driver. Backup units quickly moved in to assist the officer struggling on the ground with the driver and one of the women.
In the news conference Wednesday, Mosser said defendant Sheba Taylor strangled the officer to a point where he was unable to breathe.
If convicted for attempted murder, the defendants face between six and 30 years in prison without probation.
Because of how quickly someone could die from strangulation, prosecutors “believed the proper charge was attempted first degree murder,” Mosser said.
In bringing the serious charges of attempted murder against the defendants, Ziman said, “We are sending a collaborative message that these violent offenders and their acts of emboldened defiance will be met with harsh consequences.”
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