Police in upstate New York are in hot water with the local NAACP.
A newly surfaced video raises the possibility that Utica, N.Y., police officers planted narcotic evidence on a Black couple at the beginning of 2011.
The silent video, taken on a police surveillance camera during the traffic stop on Feb. 11, 2011, shows a police officer reaching into his back pocket, pulling out what appears to be a small plastic bag and placing the bag into the back seat of the car.
Less than 30 seconds later, the same police officer then reaches into the car and removes what appears to be the same bag and walks away from the vehicle. The video does not show what happens next, but according to the Utica Phoenix, the woman and man were both frisked by the officers, handcuffed and removed from the view of the car, prior to the planting.
The video was brought to the attention of police authorities by the Utica NAACP, which had obtained the footage. The department indicated it would follow up.
"I've already met with Venice Ervin of the NAACP on this complaint,” Utica Police Chief Williams told the newspaper. “When this matter has been thoroughly investigated, I plan on meeting with Mr. Ervin first to discuss the results of the investigation."
The arresting officers have been identified as James Holt and Paul Paladino. It’s been reported that the video was delivered to the FBI for review.
Police in the state of New York have been under investigation for misconduct in other recent cases, as well. Former NYPD detective Stephen Anderson testified in a corruption trial in October that he and other members of the narcotics squad regularly planted drugs on innocent people in order to meet department arrest quotas. Additionally, NYPD detective Jason Arbeeny was convicted on Nov. 1 for planting a bag of crack cocaine on two unsuspecting people.
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(Photo: Courtesy of the Utica Phoenix)