After an officer ticketed a woman, in part because she failed to disclose her HIV-positive status, Dearborn, Mich.'s police department will hold HIV and AIDS awareness training.
Shalandra Jones and companion Mark Scott were driving in Dearborn on Aug. 3 when they were pulled over by officer David Lacey. The stop is documented in a police video released by the American Independent News Network, which also has the transcript.
Jones' companion admits to having marijuana in the car and an outstanding traffic ticket. The officer first appears not to be concerned about the weed, for which Jones said she had an expired medical marijuana card.
When Lacey discovered Jones was HIV-positive, he told the two he was giving them tickets because he was irritated Jones hadn't immediately informed him about her status during a search of their vehicle.
"I understand what you have isn't something that I can get, but it makes me nervous. I don't want to take it home to my family," Lacey says in the video. "Honestly if it wasn't for that I don't think I would have wrote anybody for anything, but that kind of really aggravated me."
Police Chief Ronald Haddad told the Press & Guide he was reviewing the matter and that action would be taken once that review was complete.
“We’ve also partnered with an HIV health professional and educator who will assist us with providing a greater understanding (of HIV transmission)," he said.
The American Independent reports that Haddad met with HIV activist Ken Warnock after the incident and had committed to a new round of HIV-specific staff trainings.
“There is no legal obligation to disclose an HIV status during a routine traffic stop,” President Joshua L. Moore of Detroit Legal Services, the firm representing Jones, said in a release. “This is a clear case of civil rights violations and discrimination due to ignorance.”
The release did not specify if a lawsuit was going to be filed.