A video obtained by the Utica Phoenix raises the possibility that Utica Police officers planted evidence on a black couple during a traffic stop early in 2011.
The silent video, below, clearly shows a police officer reaching into his back pocket (at the 1:03 minute mark of the video), pulling out what appears to be a small plastic bag and reaching the bag back into the car.
Moments later, the same police officer can be seen (at the 1:30 minute mark of the video) pulling out a similar-looking bag (but larger and fuller) out of the car and walking away from the vehicle.
The concern raised by this video is the possibility that the police officer planted evidence (i.e. a bag of drugs) on the African-American couple during the traffic stop.
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The traffic stop happened on Feb. 11, 2011 at Clinton Place and Oneida Streets in Utica, New York, according to the Utica Phoenix. The two individuals stopped were an African-American couple. The two police officers were identified by the last names of Palladino and Holt.
The Utica Phoenix also claimed the African-American woman was frisked by one of the male officers, was clearly distraught and pleading, and at one point exposing her underwear and bare backside to the camera.
This video was first brought to the attention of Utica police authorities by Venice Ervin of the NAACP. Utica Police Chief Williams, in response, said:
I've already met with Venice Ervin of the NAACP on this complaint. When this matter has been thoroughly investigated, I plan on meeting with Mr. Ervin first to discuss the results of the investigation.
The Utica Phoenix reported that the video was delivered to the FBI for review. It also claimed the video was widely distributed through the Black community, being shown in barbershops, and other public places.