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Second Body Cam Video of Baltimore Police Planting Drugs Then “Finding” Them Has Surfaced

Baltimore Police Department Planting Drugs Video

For the second time in a matter of weeks, body camera footage has been released showing officers from the Baltimore Police Department planting drugs. In both videos, the planting of that evidence was exposed by a feature of the body cams that causes them to begin saving video thirty seconds prior to the point where they are manually activated. This video is from November 2016, while the earlier one dates from January of this year.

In this latest video to surface, police were conducting a traffic stop in which they were profiling drivers in an effort to make drug arrests. After claiming to have seen the passenger in Shamere Collins’ vehicle making a drug sale, the police stopped them. However, after a thorough search, no drugs were found anywhere in the car.

The body cam video of that initial search includes audio of one officer stating that there would be “negative consequences” if they didn’t find drugs and thereby couldn’t arrest someone. After that, the cops for no apparent reason all turned their body cameras off.

What followed, according to CBS News.com:

When the cameras come back on, an officer is seen squatting by the driver’s side of the suspect’s car, apparently unaware that he’s being recorded.

He then stands up and steps back. About 30 seconds pass, and another officer approaches the car, then squats down and pulls out a bag of drugs.

Although the charges were thrown out once the public defender representing her got ahold of this video, Collins and her boyfriend, who was the passenger were charged with possession of opiates and marijuana, as a result. According to Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, dozens more cases that involve this group of officers could also be thrown out.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis maintained that this is no reason for the public to “jump to conclusions” or make “heavy allegations” about police misconduct based on the video. Because concluding that something suspicious was going on after all the cops turned their cameras off right after one of them expressed concerns about getting in trouble if they didn’t find any drugs to justify an arrest, then video (that the cops didn’t expect to be recorded) showing one cop crouching next to the car, followed by body cam video (that they did expect to be recorded) of a different cop easily finding drugs in that same area after it had already been thoroughly searched is quite a jump.

Of course, this also comes on the heals of the previously released video (embedded below), which is even more damning. In that video, Officer Richard Pinheiro can be clearly seen putting a bag inside a can on a pile of debris in an alley. He then walks back out to the street, accompanied by two other officers who have not been named.

After activating the camera, he proceeds to walk back down the alley as one of the unnamed officers can be heard laughing behind him. Miraculously, he manages to quickly zero in on the can shortly after searching through the debris pile. He then pulls out the bag that he unwittingly recorded himself planting to reveal that it is filled with pills.

The man who was arrested as a result spent over seven months in jail awaiting trial before this video was made public and his charges were thrown out. So far, thirty-four other cases have also been thrown out and as many as fifty-five more could be, as well. Officer Pinheiro was (only) suspended for his actions, while the two other officers that watched (and laughed) as he planted evidence have received no punishment at all.

Not Isolated Incidents

These incidents don’t represent the only times that the Baltimore police have been under scrutiny for manufacturing evidence and manipulating body cameras. In March, all seven members of an “elite task force” that targets illegal weapons and drug crimes were indicted on racketeering charges for robberies that included completely innocent people of cash and filing false paperwork to get paid for overtime they didn’t actually work. In the process, they also falsified search warrants to justify detentions and traffic stops against their intended targets. As they were performing these “shake downs,” officers were known to have turned off their body cameras.

Nor is this the first confirmed instance of body camera footage being falsified to show police finding evidence against suspects. In May of this year, charges were dropped against a man in Colorado after a cop in Pueblo admitted he staged a video of himself  finding heroin and a gun in his car. In that case, Officer Seth Jensen claimed that he was merely “reenacting” his legitimate discovery of the evidence.

An “Unintended Consequence” of Transparency?

Given all of that, it’s rather interesting that in the CBS News video embedded below (beginning at about 3:45) correspondent Jeff Pegues characterizes the issue as a “downside of video transparency” and an “unintended consequence” of police wearing body cameras. Apparently, on his planet these type of incidents aren’t an argument for increased scrutiny and transparency, but rather a problem for “police departments that have to defend themselves against this type of policing.”

Obviously, I can’t see any reason we shouldn’t just trust these cops and accept their word. It would be crazy if cops didn’t have the ability to freely plant evidence without being detected and police departments had no incentive to eliminate “this type of policing.” That freedom to just arrest whoever they want and make up a reason undoubtedly would make their tough jobs so much easier.

Watch him throw it into the floorboards

BPD Officer Richard Pinheiro planting drugs

CBS News coverage of  the latest incident:

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California Police Charge Man With “Driving Under the Influence” of Caffeine

**UPDATE** The DUI charge was dropped on December 29, 2016. (One day after this post was published – #JusSayin)

Joseph Schwab was pulled over in the Northern California county of Solano in August of 2015. In spite of a breathalyzer indicating he had no alcohol whatsoever in his system, he was arrested and forced to have blood drawn. Once again, no alcohol or any illegal drug was found in his system. In fact, the only drug found in his system was caffeine. In spite of that, he is being charged with a misdemeanor for driving under the influence of a drug.

Via TheGuardian.com:

Shcwab was driving home from work when he was pulled over by an agent from the California department of alcoholic beverage control, who was driving an unmarked vehicle. The agent said Schwab had cut her off and was driving erratically.

The 36-year-old union glazier was given a breathalyzer test which showed a 0.00% blood alcohol level, his attorney said. He was booked into county jail and had his blood drawn, but the resulting toxicology report came back negative for benzodiazepines, cocaine, opiates, THC, carisoprodol (a muscle relaxant), methamphetamine/MDMA, oxycodone, and zolpidem.

The sample was screened a second time by a laboratory in Pennsylvania, according to documents provided to the Guardian, where the sole positive result was for caffeine – a substance likely coursing through the veins of many drivers on the road at any given time.

“I’ve never seen this before,” said (defense attorney Stacey) Barrett. “I’ve never even heard of it.”

Barrett has filed a motion for the case to be dismissed because the charges were not brought until June 2016 – nearly 10 months after incident. If that motion is denied, Schwab will take his case to a jury on 11 January.

Sharon Henry, chief deputy district attorney for Solano County, said in a statement that her office was “conducting further investigation in this matter”.

“The charge of driving under the influence is not based upon the presence of caffeine in his system,” she added.

Barrett counters that if the prosecution has evidence of a different drug in her client’s system, it should have to provided that to her, based on the rules governing criminal procedings (sic).

“I have not been provided with any evidence to support a theory of prosecution for a substance other than caffeine at this time,” she said. “Nor I have received any statements, reports, etc documenting any ongoing investigation since the [toxicology report] dated 18 November 2015.”

Henry declined to comment further, citing the right to a fair trial.

“It’s really stupid,” said Jeffrey Zehnder, a forensic toxicologist who frequently testifies in court cases. Over 41 years, Zehnder said, he had never seen a prosecution for driving under the influence of caffeine.

“If that’s the case, then they better come and arrest me,” he joked.

Zehnder was informed about the case by Barrett, but has not been contracted to testify on either side.

California vehicle code defines a “drug” as any substance besides alcohol that could affect a person in a manner that would “impair, to an appreciable degree” his ability to drive normally.

Making that case with caffeine would be difficult, Zehnder said, because the prosecutor would have to show that impaired driving was specifically caused by the caffeine and not any other circumstances.

“There are no studies that demonstrate that driving is impaired by caffeine, and they don’t do the studies, because no one cares about caffeine,” he said.

As for Schwab, he just wants this ordeal to be over. In a statement provided to the Guardian by his attorney, he said his reputation had been damaged.

“No one believed me that I only had caffeine in my system until I showed them the lab results,” he said. “I want the charges to be dismissed and my name to be cleared.”

It’s interesting that the charges weren’t filed until 10 months later, which means they knew that the tests came back showing no drugs in his system. Sounds like somebody was hoping that Schwab would just accept some sort of plea deal rather than deal with the ridiculous charge, as most people do. It also shows that they don’t really have any evidence to support charges based on anything real, such as reckless driving, so they likely just rolled the dice hoping that he wouldn’t be able to afford a lawyer and they could just railroad him into pleading guilty to a lesser charge rather than dropping the obviously false DUI charge.

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9th Circuit Appeals Court Rules Federal Government Can Ban Medical Marijuana Patients From Buying Guns

This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, located in San Francisco, ruled that a ban by the Federal Government on the sale of firearms to medical marijuana cardholders does not violate the Second Amendment. The ruling was made in regard to a lawsuit by S. Rowan Wilson over her attempt to buy a gun in 2011.

Wilson, who is a resident of Nevada, was denied by a gun store based on a federal ban against sales of firearms to illegal drug users. In spite of state laws allowing for medical use of cannabis (and recreational use in several states at this point), the Federal Government still considers it illegal. Therefore, medical marijuana patients are considered illegal drug users.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision agreed that it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder is more likely to use the drug.

In addition, a ban on the sale of guns to marijuana and other drug users is reasonable because the use of such drugs “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated,” Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said.

The 9th Circuit also rejected other constitutional challenges to the ban that were raised by Wilson.

The lawsuit made several constitutional challenges to the ban. Some, such as that it shouldn’t be assumed that someone holding a medical marijuana card actually use marijuana, were less than compelling arguments. (Wilson says she actually isn’t a marijuana user, but attained a medical card in order to show support for the legalization of marijuana.) Others, such as that it deprives patients the right to bear arms as the Second Amendment guarantees without due process, are not only more valid arguments, but also highlight some of the inherent flaws of medical marijuana laws.

In terms of the lack of due process, although alcohol and drug abusers are also banned from buying weapons, they have to have an actual history of having done so. This means that the mere fact that someone drinks or uses prescription drugs cannot be the basis for them to be denied the sale of a gun. This brings up the issue of HIPAA laws in relation to medical marijuana. Normally, someone having been prescribed a medication would be protected by HIPAA regulations from that being disclosed publicly. However, those being prescribed medical marijuana are listed on a database that can be accessed by others beyond their personal medical providers including members of law enforcement.

What this effectively means is that someone who has been prescribed opiates or other much more dangerous and addictive drugs is still afforded due process before their gun rights are taken away. They still have to have a record of abuse in order for that to become a justification to deny them a firearm. Medical marijuana patients, however, can be denied simply based on the fact that they are patients.

In Nevada, the medical marijuana cards are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. That means anytime someone is pulled over for a traffic violation the police officer pulling them over is going to be more likely to assume they are under the influence based on them being a patient. Medical marijuana patients are also banned from acquiring a concealed carry permit. In addition, anytime a firearm is used if the person having used it is a medical marijuana patient that is considered probable cause for police to test them for drug use.

Since there isn’t yet an accurate test for impairment from marijuana use (and because it’s hard to predict when exactly you may need to defend yourself) that places patients in position of deciding whether they want to have the option of the legal use of marijuana to treat their medical issues or risk being unable to defend themselves or risking harassment and possibly even a false DUI charge every time they drive. In a roundabout way, this actually makes people suffering from chronic pain more likely to use and become addicted to opiate-based drugs.

This case will continue through several more levels of appeals, including a ruling by the full 9th Circuit Court, however it represents yet another back door effort by the federal government to restrict constitutional rights.

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Yet Another Cop Caught Stealing Drugs From the Prescription Drop Box in Ventura, California

Senior Deputy Matthew Volpe of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is just the latest in a string of cops caught “sampling the goods” from a police department prescription drop box. The drop boxes are supposed to represent a way for citizens to turn over old or unneeded prescription drugs for proper disposal that eliminates contamination of water supplies or other environmental concerns. It also eliminates the threat of heavily armed, violent people catching them with them after the prescription has expired and assaulting and/or kidnapping them because they no longer have permission from the State to put that particular substance in their body.

Instead, in increasingly numerous instances they’ve become a sort of bargain bin for cops to augment their own supply of drugs to satisfy their habit in between arresting people for drug offenses and other victimless crimes or generating revenue. In fact, just yesterday I posted about the sheriff of Sandusky, Ohio having been indicted for cruising around illegally collecting the contents of drug drop boxes throughout several departments within Sandusky County. Sheriff Kyle Overmyer is now facing 43 charges, including 38 felonies, for his habit of “grazing” for free drugs and also for all the money he stole.

Deputy Volpe wasn’t quite as prolific as Sheriff Overmyer, but he had a good run and he would have gotten away without too, if not for a meddling employee (actually) in charge of emptying the drop box at the sheriff’s office.

Via the Ventura County Star:

Investigators were alerted in early May after a sheriff’s employee who regularly empties the disposal bin noticed a disparity in the amount of medication compared to a day earlier, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.

The employee alerted investigators, who then looked at surveillance footage from the East Valley station’s lobby on Olsen Road, where the bin was located. Investigators said they saw someone wearing a sheriff’s office uniform use a key to unlock the bottom of the bin and remove items. They identified the person on camera as Volpe, who was assigned to the Thousand Oaks police motor unit, officials said.

Investigators turned over evidence to the District Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of filing criminal charges of embezzlement and possession of a controlled substance, officials said.

Volpe was placed on administrative leave in May.

Investigators said additional surveillance footage shows Volpe removed items from the bin five other times between April 12 and May 6.

Investigators said they searched Volpe’s home, his work locker and assigned sheriff’s motorcycle. They said they found prescription medication that was not prescribed to Volpe inside a compartment of the motorcycle.

Looks like the Good Cops at the VCSO have already started setting him up with the obligatory Policeman’s Discount, though. In spite of being caught on camera at least six times stealing from the drop box and being caught with the actual drugs on his motorcycle, he’s been charged with just two misdemeanor possession counts and another misdemeanor petty theft charge.

After the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office sets him up with a plea bargain, he’ll likely be facing a stiff fine and a couple days of suspension at the end of the paid vacation he’s currently on before he’s allowed to get back out there and arrest people for drug crimes again.

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Sandusky, Ohio Sheriff Kyle Overmyer Indicted on 43 Charges Including 38 Felonies

Sheriff Kyle Overmyer of Sandusky, Ohio was pretty much the shoe-in to win re-election  to the post he was originally appointed to after the previous sheriff died and a nice little raise that goes along with it in November. Although, the Republican Party hasn’t decided whether they should withdraw their support just yet, the fact that he was just indicted on 43 charges, 38 of which are felonies, related to drugs and theft of cash from his and surrounding jurisdictions might put a slight dent into his campaign.

Apparently, not only did he go doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions of opiates filled, but he also drove all over the county collecting drugs people had left in various departments’ drug take-back boxes, which are intended to allow for the safe disposal of expired or no longer needed prescription drugs. According to the Good Sheriff, he was collecting all the drugs he could get his hands on in order to promote communication between the departments.

Then, just to round things off, he stole a bunch of money from the department over the course of two years by writing himself checks and tampered with official police records to cover up that theft.

Via TheNews-Messenger.com:

The sheriff faces several felony counts of deceiving physicians and pharmacists to obtain prescription pain medication on various dates beginning April 2014 through January 2015, including nine separate cases of seeking Percocet, five instances in which he sought Hydrocodone pills and one case in which he sought Oxycodone.

“He was indicted on various counts of deception to obtain drugs, filing a false financial affidavit, tampering with records and theft of drugs,” Hamilton O’Brien said Tuesday night.

The indictment, which was released by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Tuesday night, also alleges that Overmyer falsified financial statements between January 2009 and August 2016.

Several counts in the indictment include theft in office of monetary values over $1,000, but less than $7,500. The theft allegations detailed in the indictment range from November 2013 through April 2015.

Last January, it was revealed the state was investigating Overmyer in connection with the collection of take-back prescription pill boxes from county police departments, also included among the 43 charges in the indictment.

During this  period, Overmyer is alleged to have improperly collected the boxes from April through August of 2015.

Also included in the indictment were allegations that Overmyer tampered with records between November 2013 and December 2015.

Overmyer is expected to appear in court Wednesday before visiting judge Patricia Cosgrove.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released a statement detailing the counts against Overmyer, including:

• Twelve counts of tampering with records, all third-degree felonies. Overmyer is alleged to have tampered with records concerning the departments Furtherance of Justice account.

• Twelve counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug, all fourth-degree felonies. Overmyer is alleged to have deceived physicians and pharmacists in order to obtain prescription pain medication, according to DeWine’s release.

• Six counts of theft in office, all fourth-degree felonies. The sheriff is alleged to have improperly taken medication from prescription drug disposal drop boxes.

• Four four-degree felony counts of theft.

• One fifth-degree felony count of theft.

• Five first-degree misdemeanor counts of filing false financial disclosure reports.

Hamilton O’Brien, the Delaware County prosecutor, said Overmyer is still the sheriff in Sandusky County, and said she is working with Overmyer’s legal counsel to have him turn himself in.

The investigation that resulted in the charges is actually the second investigation launched by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The original investigator, Special Agent Jeff Cook, had to be removed after he told police chiefs from the departments Sheriff Overmyer had been improperly collecting the drugs from that the investigation was “trivial and minor” without issuing any warrants or subpoenas  and without interviewing anybody from those departments in relation to the matter.

The dozens of subsequent charges emerged after two other agents were assigned to investigate. Meanwhile, Sandusky Sheriff’s Deputy Sean O’Connell is being investigated and could possibly face charges himself for acting as a whistle blower by leaking files containing the information that justified those charges to Carol Hamilton O’Brien, a special prosecutor assigned to the case.

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Former Chicago Bears Superbowl QB Jim McMahon Urges NFL Allow Medical Marijuana For Players

Jim McMahon Medical Marijuana NFL

Jim McMahon, the Superbowl XX winning quarterback from the 1985 Chicago Bears, a team which is often considered one of the best all-time teams and arguably the best defense in the history of the NFL, has joined the long list of people advocating for the medical use of marijuana.

Currently, McMahon is battling symptoms attributed to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), such as early dementia, severe headaches, memory loss and depression, all of which have been attributed to the effects of multiple concussions and for obvious reasons are especially prevalent among people involved in contact sports.

Even in states in which medical marijuana has already been legalized, the National Football League prohibits its use among players. Anyone testing positive for marijuana use, regardless of local laws (even in Washington and Colorado, which both allow recreational use), are subject to punishments that increase with each instance.

McMahon made his statements advocating for marijuana as an alternative to opiates for pain management while appearing as part of a panel discussion by retired NFL players at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo. The panel was held at Manhattan’s Javits Convention Center.

Via the Sporting News:

The panel, according to the New York Daily News, was moderated by former Giants defensive lineman Leonard Marshall and included former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson, former Broncos wide receiver Charlie Adams and former Jaguars offensive tackle Eben Britton.

McMahon, who is dealing with early dementia, severe headaches, memory loss and depression — all symptoms associated with too many concussions — believes he would be healthier now if he was allowed to use marijuana instead of pills during his playing career. Marijuana is an effective pain killer and less harmful than opiods, McMahon said.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from [painkillers] and there’s not one case of people dying from the hemp plant,” McMahon said.

Britton added, “Juxtaposing my experiences with pharmaceutical drugs like Vicodin and Percocet, that made me angry and irritable, frustrated, didn’t get rid of any of the pain, made it difficult to sleep, increased my heart rate and made me feel crazy. On the other side of that there’s cannabis that helped me sleep, put me into a healing state of being where I was relieved from stress and anxiety as well as feeling the pain relief.”

Jackson, who appeared on an edition of HBO’s Real Sports that dealt with the same issue, added, “The owners of these teams are, by and large, wealthy men who are older and do not understand that this is a pretty innocuous substance.”

As is also mentioned in the Sporting News article, this offseason the Baltimore Ravens cut Eugene Monroe, a former first round pick who has campaigned publicly for the acceptance of medical marijuana in the NFL. Many people, including Monroe, have attributed that move to his strong advocacy for cannabis use, although the Ravens have denied that is the case.

Jim McMahon Superbowl XX MoonMcMahon, who was known as much for his flamboyant attitude and defiance of arbitrary or silly rules as he was for his play on the field, is no stranger to alternative medical practices or controversy. In one of the more famous photos from the build up to Superbowl XX, he mooned a helicopter while wearing a headband that said “ACUPUNCTURE” on it.

He later explained that he was just showing the media where he had received treatment for an injury he had received in a game the previous week. (The headband derived from an incident earlier in the season where he was fined $5,000 for having an Adidas label on his head band during a game and subsequently wore a headband with “ROZELLE” written on it in reference to the league commissioner, who had fined him.)

Jim McMahon Rozelle HeadbandIt’s silly and contradictory that the NFL approves the use of opiates and all kinds of other horrible pharmaceutical medications for players if they have a prescription (and sometimes without even having one), but prohibits the same medical rights for cannabis patients, even in locations where it can be legally prescribed by a doctor. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for players with lingering injuries to receive shots that numb the affected area in order to play during a game. Stories have even emerged of players receiving such shots in the locker room during a game in which they were injured.

So, it’s clearly not a case of the NFL being opposed to drug use in general or a concern for the safety or health of players. Their refusal to accept that playing in the NFL and improper care for concussions in the past increased the chances of players developing CTE alone is proof of that not being true.

The least they could do is give those players the option of using a safe and non-addictive option to treat the pain is inherent to the game. Being that there are different laws in the different cities which have NFL teams, there’s a small complication in the fact that some players would have access to legal medical marijuana while others wouldn’t because they state they live in still living in the dark ages.

However, in reality, all they would have to do is remove it from the list of drugs which they test for. Legally, they are not under any obligation to test for drugs, whether they are illegal or otherwise. Players certainly make enough money that they could set up residence during the offseason within the states that do allow its use for the next four or five years or so until it’s made legal not just for medical use, but for recreational use as well, nationwide. (That writings on the wall in big letters.)

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Gloucester Police Department’s “Angel Program” Sends Drug Addicts To Rehab, Not Prison

The following post was submitted to the CopBlock Network by Isiah Holmes, who has been featured several times previously on Cop Block, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. In this post, Isiah discusses a program recently started by Gloucester Massachusetts Police Chief Leonard Campanello in which, rather than treating drug abuse as a criminal issue, it’s treated as a disease requiring treatment.

(Note: The Gloucester Police Department’s new drug program was also discussed by Deo in an earlier post published in August of last year, as well as by Dylan Donnelly in a post published in May of last year. While both the previous posts address the same topic, they were written at different time frames relative to the start of the “Angel Program” and contain different perspectives from each author.)

In The World Anew

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

No one can deny the profound reservoirs of foresight Albert Einstein surely utilized to conjure those words. In order to evolve our understanding, we must first break the rigid behavioral or ideological loop which has brought us here. No modern SNAFU is more relevant to this phenomenon than the drug war, and its human cost. It’s a war with “soldiers”, aka our police force, who no longer agree with their own method–find them all, arrest them all. In 2015, however, one Massachusetts department found breaking operational standards was worth pulling it’s heroin ravaged community back from the brink.

Massachusetts police drug addictsGloucester Massachusetts, like a growing percentage of the US, has an overwhelming opioid issue. In fact, according to VICE, the first four months of 2015 saw four local overdose deaths by either heroin or prescription drugs. The deaths, coupled with several other overdose victims who survived, compelled the Gloucester Police Department to mix things up a little. Police Chief Leonard Campanello took to Facebook: “Any addict who walks into the police station with the remainder of their drug equipment or drugs and asks for help will not be charged. Instead,” Campanello continues, “we will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery.” Amazingly, the post’s number of shares–32,000 shares–outnumbers Gloucester’s population of 30,000 people.

The Gloucester PD’s trailblazing initiative, launched June 1st 2015, is formally known as the “Angel Program”. Under the program, VICE reports, Campanello’s officers, upon making contact with a consenting addict, will transport the person to nearby Gilbert Hospital. From there, the patient is assigned an “angel”, according to the Gloucester Times, who then walks them through the rehabilitation process. Also, the Gloucester PD maintains a contingent of volunteers who stay with the patient until an angel arrives. The first patient arrived in Campanello’s station a day after the program was launched. Willfully and peacefully, the 31 year old man arrived at Campanello’s doorstep requesting help.

It didn’t take long for word of the program to start mushrooming across the nation. Out of state rehab centers offered anything they could including, VICE reports, scholarships to help pay for transport and treatment. In spite of all this, true success relies on a non-existent level of trust between the addict and the officers. “Someone has to take the first step”, says Campanello, “that’s all we can do.”

Leonard Campanello Gloucester Police Chief2The chief, aware of relations between cops and non-cops, pointed out that they must “show that we are good to our word.” This can’t happen if even dying addicts frown at the idea of surrendering, with or without drugs, inside the walls of a station. Holding true to Albert Einstein’s old quote, Police Chief Campanello insists his officers have “come to consensus as a department that we’re not going to arrest our way out of the addiction problem.” Campanello later went on record, the Gloucester Times reports, pointing out “the important piece to all of this. For law enforcement to extend a helping hand”, says the chief, “and we’ve started to do that.”

Gloucester PD also made an overdose “antidote” available at local pharmacies without a prescription. According to VICE, the nasal spray–Narcon– is capable of instantly stopping even severe overdoses. Gary Langis, Gloucester resident and harm reduction activist since the 80’s, delivers Narcon door-to-door. “I think it’s a good thing that they’re having this conversation”, says Langis, “and looking at drug users as not a criminal thing, but as people that need a little help.” Langis, like many, expresses doubts that a population which police have historically “marginalized and demonized” is going to be willing to trust them. Landis’s fears may prove valid, as Gloucester officers remain obligated to charge users they get off the street, according to VICE.

It would appear, however, that this particular police department, or at least its leader, is willing to move past this status quo. “Your life”, he says, referring to Gloucester’s addicts, CNN reports, “is more meaningful than your death. Don’t be ashamed of your illness. We are not ashamed of you, it’s time…come and get the help.” Following the Gloucester PD’s empathy fueled leap of faith, towns in 17 other states promptly adopted the Angel Program.

A large component to ending the drug war is, indeed, legalizing marijuana. Another, perhaps, vastly more profound component is caring about the people the war hurts, ruins, or kills. We have to care about one another, and America’s current narcotics policy stands as the antithesis to this end. Now, let’s use the momentum from this small victory as a point of encouragement for municipalities elsewhere to get on board with the revolution.

– Isiah Holmes

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Mount Vernon Ohio Detective Arrested for Drug Dealing and Extortion

Corrupt MVPD Detective

MVPD Detective Matt Dailey

Last week, the FBI arrested Matt Dailey, a detective with the Mount Vernon (Ohio) Police Department, on drug trafficking charges related to the sale of marijuana, meth, ecstasy, coke, and opiate-based pain pills. In addition, he faces charges of extortion and the use of a gun while engaging in drug sales. Detective Dailey had previously been suspended (with pay) on September 18th. While the reason for that suspension was not disclosed, it is presumed that it was due to the FBI’s investigation of his drug crimes.

Details within the FBI’s arrest report, indicate that Dailey used his position as a police officer to supply drugs to and facilitate the sale of those drugs by a confidential informant, who he had come into contact with during previous drug investigations. He also used his position and knowledge of drug investigations being conducted by local law enforcement to encourage the confidential informant (CI) to sell the drugs for him. He indicated to the CI that all of the drug investigations within the Mount Vernon Police Department, as well as the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, went through him. That CI stated that he perceived Dailey’s stated ability to influence drug investigations as both an assurance he would be protected from prosecution and an implied threat that if he didn’t help sell the drugs he could be set up for a drug arrest.

banner buy shiny badgesMany of the drugs Det. Dailey supplied to the CI were acquire by stealing drugs that had been confiscated in previous raids from the evidence room. Although at least initially many of the drugs were still contained within evidence bags, he claimed to the CI that he was getting the drugs from a fictional cousin and that he was only selling the drugs because this “cousin” was in trouble since he owed money to a drug dealer and he was trying to help him pay off that debt. In reality, he bought the drugs that he didn’t steal from the MVPD evidence room from a dealer in Columbus. That dealer later also became a confidential informant for the FBI against Dailey.

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