A video recorded during a police stop on Feb. 11, 2011, appears to show a Utica, N.Y., police officer planting cocaine in a black couple's car.
The surveillance video, which was recently released, has caught the attention of the Utica NAACP, which is up in arms over what the tape appears to show. The video, which is 1 minute, 40 seconds long, shows a police officer reaching into his back pocket, pulling out what appears to be a small plastic bag and placing it in the backseat of the car.
Less than 30 seconds later, the same police officer 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. The local paper, the Utica Phoenix, reported that the couple was frisked and handcuffed before the alleged planting of evidence.
The Utica Police Department says that the full video, which is 25 minutes long, exonerates the officer of wrongdoing. In a part of the video that hasn't gone viral on social media sites, police Chief Mark Williams says, the police officer took the bag from the man's coat.
"He's going into the car with it, and that's what he's doing. It's cold out and he's basically separating the drugs from both defendants," Williams told WKTV. "It's his car. He's the one that's turned that camera on. He should be fully aware that the camera is likely going to catch anything that's going on in front of him."
Williams has spoken with the NAACP and the FBI, who involved themselves in the matter late last week.
While this could be another example of the police doing two members of our community wrong, we've seen only the viral version, which surely has a lot cut out of it. We wouldn't be surprised to hear that the full video that the Utica police have exonerates the cop.
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