Several officers with the Phoenix Police Department have resigned and another has been demoted after giving a man a cruel ultimatum during a recent traffic stop by which the supposed lawmen forced him to either eat his entire stash of weed or be taken to jail.
A report from ABC 15 indicates that four officers have been dealt disciplinary action over a compliant filed by a local resident. The incident took place last Tuesday in the town of Maryvale where 19-year-old man Edgar Castro was pulled over for speeding.
The report says the man, who maintains he is a registered medical marijuana patient, was caught in possession of a legal firearm and about a gram of cannabis. He was issued a citation for the pot and released.
However, before the man could leave the scene, the four officers decided to have some fun at his expense.
The officers turned off their body cameras, which had previously been rolling, and that's when Castro said Officer Jason McFadden walked over with a deal.
"McFadden came up to me with the gram of weed, and he said, 'Do you want to go home tonight?' I was like, 'Yeah, I have work tomorrow,'" Castro said. "The officer said, 'Either you eat the marijuana or go to jail tonight.' I asked him, 'Do I really have to do this?'"
Castro said McFadden and another officer, Richard Pena, were both serious, and he ate the weed to avoid going to jail.
By Thursday afternoon, there was apparently enough evidence against the rookie officers to send them up shit creek without a paddle. Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner told reporters that three of the officers had been given an ultimatum of their own – resign or be fired, while another was simply demoted from lieutenant to sergeant because he was not one of the primary culprits in the matter.
Police Chief Yahner called the incident “disturbing and upsetting,” adding that an internal investigation was ongoing.
“I want you to know how appalled I was when I was informed about these allegations,” Yahner said. “The conduct alleged by our resident is contrary to everything we stand for as community servants. I have directed our criminal and internal investigators to make their inquiries thorough and swift. Once the facts are determined, I will take quick and appropriate action to ensure those involved are held accountable for their actions.”
Arizona voters are set to decide this November whether the state should legalize a recreational marijuana market – opening up a legitimate cannabis trade that could produce millions of dollars in tax revenue, as well as prevent law enforcement officers from bullying people over weed.