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Mich. police receive HIV training after traffic stop video

HIV-positive suspect has obtained legal representation, but it's unclear if a lawsuit will be filed

By PoliceOne Staff

DEARBORN, Mich. — Dearborn police will receive additional training on suspects with HIV or AIDS following a dash cam video that showed an officer become "aggravated" when an HIV-positive suspect failed to disclose her status.

"We take these matters very seriously," Police Chief Ronald Haddad said. "We want our officers to be peak performers and a complete review will occur."

The incident began Aug. 3 when Officer David Lacey pulled over a truck for a burnt out taillight and performed a search of the vehicle and a passenger's purse, finding HIV medication. In the video, when Shalandra Jones tells the officer that she is HIV positive, he tells her she should disclose that status during police searches, which is not required by law.

“Honestly, if it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I would have wrote anybody for anything," he says in the video. "But that kind of really aggravated me, you know what I mean? You got to tell me right away, 'I’ve got this. I’ve got that.' 'Cause at that time, I wasn’t wearing any gloves."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV is not transmitted through casual contact. The Detroit News reported Jones has representation by The Detroit Legal Services firm, whose president Joshua L. Moore said training will only "even begin correcting this horrible wrong."

It is unclear if a lawsuit is being pursued or will be opened in the future, but the firm said in a statement they are "working to ensure that Jones is protected to the fullest extent of the law."

Sean Strub, co-chair for the Global Network of People Living with HIV-North America, told The Detroit News that myths about HIV transmission remain a hurdle in addressing the disease.

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