Three suspects have been indicted by a grand jury on charges including felony attempted murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery in connection with the strangling of an officer in Aurora, Illinois, during a traffic stop in late June.
Officials announced Wednesday the indictments of 26-year-old Sheba Taylor, of Aurora, 24-year-old Jennifer Taylor, of Chicago, and 28-year-old Paul Sherrod Taylor, of Aurora, on the first-degree murder, assault, and battery charges.
"Because of the strangulation and because of the research that we know about how quickly it is for somebody to lose their life as a result of somebody preventing them from being able to breathe, we believe that the proper charge was attempted first degree murder," said Kane County state's attorney Jamie Mosser.
Dash cam footage has since been released of the June 21 roadside assault. The six-minute video was released by the Aurora Illinois Police Department on Wednesday evening, showing the violent events that transpired during the routine traffic stop.
Video shows that the trio's car ran a stop sign, which prompts the unnamed officer to pull the vehicle over around 10:30 pm.
As the cop approaches the car after the group parks in a driveway located in the 600 block of North Elmwood Drive, the driver begins yelling obscenities at the officer through the window, according to a police statement.
The female passenger exits the vehicle, despite orders from the officer to remain in the vehicle. The female in the backseat also exits the vehicle.
After refusing to obey orders to get back in the vehicle, the officer informs the female in the backseat that she is under arrest for obstructing, according to police. The male driver exits the vehicle and then states that "I'm gonna knock you out, bro" to the officer if he touches the woman.
The officer then tells the driver he was also under arrest for obstructing. He attempts to arrest the driver, but the male suspect runs from the scene—with the officer in pursuit on foot and the two female passengers following.
"The two female passengers then began striking the officer with closed fists and kicking his body and head," stated the Aurora Police Department. "The officer heard a male's voice and then was struck repeatedly in the head from several angles. The rear female passenger placed her forearm around the officer’s neck and applied significant force to his windpipe, causing him to lose the ability to breathe. A short time later, additional officers arrived and placed the subjects into custody."
Aurora Police chief Kristen Ziman said that the assaulted officer was treated after the brutal incident, released from the hospital, and is back on duty.
"A minor infraction that likely would have resulted in a citation at most turned into an officer fighting for his life," said Ziman, according to Fox 32. The trio were released on bond and are due back in court for arraignment on Sept. 24.
The assault follows a troubling trend of police officers across the country being assaulted. Earlier this week, a man who had twice been arrested for assaulting law enforcement officers was arrested again for smashing a bottle over a New York City Police Department cop's head. The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) released recent alarming statistics regarding an uptick in ambush-style attacks on law enforcement members nationwide, a disturbing 91 percent increase.