On April 5th, Jon Jones will have a chance to clear his name in court over the five traffic tickets he was issued by officer Jason Brown of the Albuquerque Police Department. Jones, who was put on probation after pleading guilty to hit-and-run last year, violated the terms of his probation when he was pulled over for drag racing last week.
The former light heavyweight champion claims he didn't do it and exploded in an emotional outburst against officer Brown after being handed four more tickets (ordinance against a modified exhaust, illegible licence plate, failure to maintain traffic lane, and exhibition driving). "You're a f-cking liar," Jones said to Brown, and lashed out by calling him a "pig".
Although it's evidently clear "Bones" collided with another car being driven by a pregnant woman last April, many fans are conflicted with the drag racing incident. Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting recently spoke to Philip Sweeting, a former Deputy Police officer of Boca Raton, Florida and an 'expert' on police protocol.
Sweeting says officer Brown escelated the situation with Jones by being sarcastic and claims the five tickets were 'overkill'.
"Bottom line is the officer should just listen and answer any questions and refrain from any sarcastic comments," Sweeting said. "A police officer is supposed to try and deescalate a hostile situation, but sarcastic comments typically escalate the situation. Fortunately [Jones] did not react to the sarcasm. I suspect if he had, the situation could have gotten worse in a hurry. It is anybody's guess if the officer was trying get [Jones] to react so he could arrest him."
"Although they may have been valid citations, issuing five is overkill," Sweeting said. "The tag citation is the best example of that. I suspect most tags are covered to some extent by the plate cover. Typically you would just give a warning for that."
Raimondi also cited how Brown is also being sued by Gary Martinez (per KOB.com), an Albuquerque citizen and former offender who claims he was wrongfully arrested at a traffic stop last year for DWI.
Jon Jones was released from police custody last week and must now attend a course in anger management and driver improvement. The 28-year-old will also complete 60 hours of community service and must receive permission from his probation officer before using his vehicle.
The pound-for-pound #1 will face Ovince Saint Preux for the interim 205-pound title after Daniel Cormier pulled out of the bout with an injury. Jones vs. St. Preux will headline the UFC 197 pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 23rd.