They say that getting stoned makes you stupid. And we’re not scientists or anything, but since it kills brain cells and kind of burns out your short term memory, maybe there’s something to that. But what’s the scientific explanation for getting stupid from policing people getting stoned?
In a good week for news of cops getting caught with their hands in the edible cookie jar, three narcotics officers with the Chicago police department and a fourth veteran officer just had perjury and obstruction of justice charges filed against them by Cook County prosecutors. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. For giving false testimony about a 2014 traffic stop where the four CPD officers encountered marijuana.
The four officers testified that they could smell the odor of marijuana emanating from a vehicle during a traffic stop. That odor led to the officers finding about a pound of pot inside a backpack in the vehicle.
Upon cross examination, however, video footage from a dash cam forced a fifth officer to tell the court that her four colleagues were lying. The video showed one of the officers unlocking the driver’s door, dragging the driver out of the car, and then patting him down. The cops testified that they had smelled marijuana while they were waiting for the driver to produce his license, but since the driver’s license was removed illegally and forcefully by an officer, that waiting never occurred.
Judge Catherine Haberkorn immediately dismissed the case against the driver and his friends. The fifth officer who testified against the other four CPD officers has been living it up on paid vacation since March as the internal affairs division investigates further into the conduct of the four who have been charged. Each faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted on both counts.
It’s another blow against the CPD, which has become so notorious for lying that some defense attorneys say that officers are “testilying” while on the stand. Will this be the first step towards change in the Windy City? Or will the status quo find a way to be maintained?