Video Of Louisiana Cops Tackling And Appearing To Plant Evidence On Black Man Sparks Outrage
The video shared on Twitter showed officers tackling a man and putting a small bag on the ground before arresting him.
March 18, 2020 at 7:02 pm
A Lousiana police office is denying that video of a recent arrest shows police officers planting evidence on a Black man.
Video of the arrest of 26-year-old Dominique Griffin on Monday, which was posted to Twitter and Facebook, racked up 4 million views, as many said it was clear evidence that police had unfairly targeted him.
THIS IS WHATS GOING ON IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD! JP PUTTING DRUGS ON PPL!!! pic.twitter.com/KHZMGFKWXB
— Simply Jasmine K (@PrettyJasBadAss) March 16, 2020
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Jason Rivarde told local news outlet FOX8 that police were responding to a call about a man allegedly selling drugs. They said Griffin fit the description, and officers proceeded to tackle him during the arrest.
In the video, one of the officers can be seen handling a small bag and placing it on the ground near Griffin.
“The video in question is part of the evidence that has been collected in this case. It has been alleged by third parties that evidence on the scene was planted by one of our deputies. Our on-scene deputies have been interviewed in this matter and gave reasonable explanations to the actions depicted in the video,” JPSO said in a statement released online.
JPSO statement on viral arrest video—full release below pic.twitter.com/Pi94wytaJJ
— JP Sheriff's Office (@JeffParishSO) March 17, 2020
When it became clear the video was causing a stir online, Sheriff Joseph Lopinto held a press conference where he said the bag, which had pills inside, was removed from Griffin's pocket during the arrest. In their statement, the police said the pills were tested and were not narcotics. After another test at a different crime lab, the pills were identified at methamphetamine.
"Even the suspect said he had possession of those pills. The drugs that were on the scene were previously confiscated from the suspect's pocket before that video started to play," Lopinto said.
After an internal investigation, Lopinto said officers had taken the pills out of Griffin's pocket and placed the bag on the ground as they searched for more drugs.
Despite claims from the officers that drugs were found on Griffin, they did not charge him for anything drug-related initially, according to FOX8. He was booked on charges for battery on an officer, battery on an officer with injury and resisting arrest with force or violence.
The video gained even more traction online when Meek Mill shared it on Twitter.
https://t.co/cIsaNkqDrh now y’all can see on video what’s been going on with us black men for years!
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) March 17, 2020
Thousands of people commented online about the situation, the harsh arrest and the police response to being filmed.
Can you IMAGINE how many times cops have planted drugs on people like this and sent them to prison before the age of smartphones and social media???
— Dallas (@ChronicDal) March 17, 2020
This is the moment when he saw his pension flash before his very eyes pic.twitter.com/7dGTEwPljt
— The Side Piece Whisperer (@OldDezzy) March 17, 2020
If you support those with additional footage coming forward, will you discipline the officer for his angry, fear-inducing response toward the woman filming? Do you support citizens recording potential misconduct?
— Ashley Carey (@ashleycarey) March 17, 2020
if you live in the US, please call them to pressure them. ask for the police officer to be fired on the spot and for a real investigation on all the previous cases, cause it’s certainly not the first time he/they are doing it. pic.twitter.com/GpcLxDDmAU
— s❂line (@slhixpster) March 17, 2020
Lopinto later said that Griffin apologized for making claims against the officers and admitted to selling drugs after police filed for a warrant to search his phone, WDSU reported.