Man Awarded $35K After Cops Mistook Saltine Crackers for Crack Rocks
Deptford, New Jersey — Wenonah resident John Cokos recently settled a lawsuit against the Gloucester County police department for $35,000. The lawsuit comes after an arrest for drug possession because the officer claimed that hiscrackers were crack rocks.
According to NJ.com, the incident occurred in November of 2011 when Cokos was stopped by police because they saw him walking down the street with a video camera. When the police approached him, he began to record them with the camera, which allegedly made them angry.
The police told Cokos that there were burglaries in the area and that walking down the street with a camera made him appear suspicious, according to the lawsuit.
Cokos refused to obey the officers when they asked him to stop recording, as he had a legal right to do, at which point the cops became enraged and began to assault the man. They then searched his belongings, where they found an empty package of saltine crackers that had crumbs in it. The police claimed that the cracker crumbs were crack rocks, and arrested Cokos for drug possession.
After it was discovered that the alleged crack rocks were actually cracker crumbs, Cokos was then charged with obstruction of the administration of law, for disobeying the officers’ orders to stop filming.
The Deptford Police Department decided to settle the case outside of court so they did not have to admit any wrongdoing.