Here's a video of two Utica, N.Y. police officers searching a car during a traffic stop. At 1:02, one officer pulls a small baggie of something out of his pocket and ducks into the car; at 1:31, he emerges again, holding the same baggie. Oops! (Update: Police have responded, saying that the full video shows the officer had previously found the baggie on the suspect and placed it in his pocket.)
Update: The Utica Police Department says the entire 30-minute vide of the arrest shows the officer finding the evidence on the suspect and placing it in his pocket. (The evidence in question: marijuana and "small residue of cocaine.") The police also say this is defensible evidence-handling practice.
The video was obtained by the Utica Phoenix, which goes to great lengths to avoid specifically accusing the officers of evidence-planting. We understand! The cops are only "apparently" planting evidence: it's also possible that they just completely and egregiously mishandled the evidence they found. Utica cops also "apparently" really good at finding drugs on the property of black residents:
It is said that this video has been widely distributed through the Black community, being shown in barbershops, and other public places. Its viewing has fueled the renewal of complaints long charged against the Utica Police of the planting of evidence and other abuses by the local force.
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 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.
According to the Phoenix, UPD has an "ongoing internal affairs investigation" into the incident, and apparently the video has been sent to the FBI "for review."