Chicago Police Taser Pregnant Woman Tiffany Rent During Parking Ticket Dispute
Chicago police are reviewing an incident in which a pregnant woman was shot with a stun gun before being arrested during a dispute over a parking ticket.
The incident occurred on Tuesday night around 8:25 p.m. in the parking lot of a Walgreens drug store in the Roseland neighborhood. According to CBS Chicago, 30-year-old Tiffany Rent, who is eight months pregnant, pulled into the lot and parked her car in a handicapped space.
The woman’s sister, Sharita Rent, said Tiffany was attempting to quiet her daughter when she pulled into the restricted parking space and that police confronted her the moment she stopped the car.
“She pulled up in a handicapped space. The police came behind her, and she said they blocked her in,” Sharita told CBS Chicago on Wednesday. “She asked them, were they writing a ticket, and they told her yes. She tried to explain to them what happened… and the [officer] gave her a ticket for $200. She ripped the ticket up, tore it in half, and threw it on the ground.”
But Chicago police recounted a different version of events. The officer’s report claims Rent cursed at the officer and threw the shredded ticket in his face before attempting to flee the scene.
“I got scared, and I closed the door,” Rent told CBS Chicago. “I didn’t hit him. I didn’t mean to harm him, or anything. He Tasered me through the window.”
Rent claims that police officers at Roseland Hospital mocked her.
“They were laughing,” she said. “They said, ‘I know she’s pregnant.’ Then one of the other officers said I deserve[d] it. Another officer said, ‘Go get Jesse Jackson.’”
“They were all laughing, like it was funny,” she added.
Also arrested was Joseph Hobbs, Rent’s boyfriend and the father of her child, who allegedly got into a scuffle with officers.
“I thought the baby was going to die when he tased her,” Hobbs, who was charged with resisting arrest and simple assault, told ABC Chicago.
Rent was also charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest and simple assault.
Rent’s baby appeared to be unharmed. But she has lost three babies in the past.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the incident is being investigated. He struck a defensive tone with reporters on Wednesday.
“First of all, you can’t always tell if somebody’s pregnant,” he said. “You want to use it [Taser] where you’re overcoming an assault, or preventing escape,” he added.