Synopsis: NYPD is standing with two cops who planted marijuana in a subject’s car. The charge was thrown out, but the cops still claim they are innocent. Does body cam footage show something different?
The New York City Police Department is closing ranks around two of its own who recently were denounced for sowing false evidence. The goal was to have the help of superiors while criminal justice activists continue to be outraged.
Lawyers with New York’s Legal Aid Society are pushing the DA’s office to prosecute Kyle Erickson and Elmer Pastran. Body camera footage, obtained by the New York Times, show Erickson planting marijuana in a young, black male’s vehicle. The group wants each officer’s prior arrest and conviction records reviewed under a microscope.
In the video, Erickson searches the rear of a BMW and doesn’t find anything. His partner, Pastran, had already looked through the area and said, “Back seats looks pretty clear.”
“We’ve got to find it,” Erickson says. “We have to find something. You know what I mean?”
Suddenly, Erickson’s body camera turns off and no one can explain why. Erickson claims a technical glitch. About four minutes later the camera starts working just as Erikson finds a small, half-smoked joint. The claims the joint was still burning, in the backseat, when he found it.
Lasou Kuyateh, the car’s owner, screams that Erickson planted the pot. The duo eventually arrested Kuyateh for obstructing the investigation and criminal possession of marijuana. Kuyateh insists he was framed and the Legal Aid Society agrees.
The charges against Kuyateh were dropped.
The NYPD, and local prosecutors disagree and are staying supportive of the two police officers.
“There was no evidence the officers conducted anything but a lawful stop and consensual search,” said Sophia Mason of the NYPD’s Public Information office.
What If A Cop Plants Drugs On You?
First, realize you’re in a tough situation. Many more persons claim to be set up than actually are — but it does happen.
The first thing your lawyer may do is file a motion to learn if the cop has had citizen complaints about planting evidence previously. Your attorney will gather witnesses who know you and know you have been off drugs for two years.
How Your Attorney May Address Allegedly Planted Drugs?
Your attorney may also have an investigator talk to the other officers assigned. If he finds one who is uncomfortable with the way your case went down, he may assist in some way. This will be behind the scenes so don’t expect any cop to testify he saw evidence planted.
Yours could also be a case which benefits from a timing strategy. The prosecutor will fight to keep the case active while your attorney may find ways to delay the case.
Don’t forget asking your attorney to research the civil litigation indexes. How many times has the officer been sued? The ones that plant drugs have a way of collecting lawsuits. The lawsuits can lead to witnesses.
Find a Brooklyn Drug Crimes Lawyer
A criminal defense lawyer like Brooklyn’s Arkady Bukh can go the whole nine yards. There is a lot of work ahead, but your cases isn’t hopeless.
Finding dirt on the officer who planted the drugs, the prosecutor may want to dismiss the charges to avoid completing trashing up the entire case.
If the cops believe the people they are framing are bad people, and need to be put away, but they can’t find evidence on the person, so they plant some.
Unfortunately, many of them see everyone who isn’t a cop as a bad person – either a threat, or a criminal.