tica Police are defending their procedures following the release of a video, which critics say shows a police officer planting drugs at a traffic stop.
The video, which was posted on YouTube and is shown above, supposedly shows a Utica Police Officer taking a bag containing drugs out of his pocket and placing it in a vehicle during a traffic stop in February 2011.
The NAACP in Utica feels the video raises serious questions about whether the officer planted evidence.
In response, Utica Police Department showed reporters the full 30 minute dash cam video, in which the officer is seen taking drugs off a suspect and placing them in his pocket. Police Chief Mark Williams says that sometimes officers place evidence in their pockets for safe keeping. He says there is nothing wrong with that procedure.
The 30 minute dash cam video was posted by WKTV-TV and the Observer-Dispatch newspaper. After the controversy surfaced, the Utica Police Department continues its internal investigation into the traffic stop. The FBI intends to review that investigation.
The two suspects arrested during the traffic stop, 51-year-old Grady Jones and 38-year-old Ameya Hunt, eventually pleaded guilty in June. Jones pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession, and Hunt pleaded guilty to a marijuana violation.
One of the suspects, however, forwarded the dash cam video to the NAACP and the FBI. Eventually, and edited portion of the video made its way to YouTube.