Watch: Dash Cam Catches Cop Apparently Planting Evidence on Black Man
The Utica Phoenix has obtained a video that shows two police officers making a traffic stop. During this stop, the dash camera on the squad car catches one officer suspiciously pull something out of his back pocket before placing it inside the car he had been searching. The cop emerges shortly after, holding and slickly shining a flash light on the same object, as if he had just seen it for the first time. It looks a lot like a bag of drugs.
It appears as though the officer is planting drugs on the man, who just as much appears to be black. The video is said to have been widely distributed around Utica's black community, where this sort of thing may not be as unlikely as one would hope.
The Utica Phoenix spoke to a black woman with a similar story:
A recent Phoenix interview of a Black female resident of Utica charges that police kicked in the front door of her home without a warrant. Inside, the woman’s 83 year old handicapped mother was subject to police swarming through her house while they, ‘waited for a warrant.’
The interviewed subject went on to explain that though she was allowed to enter when she returned home, to care for her terrified mother, police entered with a drug sniffing dog, once they were issued the warrant.
The dog was taken throughout the house and found no drugs. The dog was verbally abused, cursed and yanked around, finally to be returned to the car. Police continued their search and somehow, achieved what the trained nose of the police dog could not do. The officers ‘found’ drugs.
The Utica police officer is not the first to be (apparently) caught planting drugs on an innocent. In October, an NYPD officer and former detective testified in his own drug planting case, where he said that the practice was a widespread technique used to fill quotas. In Camden, a police officer was convicted of conspiracy and other charges after he similarly admitted to planting evidence on people, illegally searching homes, and stealing money.
When any law is used not to protect, but create, victims, we have a problem. The collateral consequences of a drug conviction are long-lasting and deeply affecting. They can block federal loans for housing and college, access to food stamps, and career opportunities, not to mention tear families apart. Planting drugs on people --recently revealed as a potentially widespread practice -- raises questions about the legitimacy of convictions that yield such harsh punishment, as well as the drug war itself. How many drug war prisoners are locked-up and innocent? And how many of them are black?