A drug charges case in another state has made national headlines. Police are accused of arresting 65 people after finding a tiny amount of marijuana at a house party. The district attorney handling the case has actually dropped the charges against all but one of the accused. The NAACP, however, is only just getting started on the civil rights violations claims it plans to file. This is a case that could change how police in New York and everywhere treat such drug crime cases in the future.
According to a news report, 65 people were in attendance at a New Year’s Eve house party when police were called to the scene following reports of shots fired in the area. When they arrived, officers claim to have found marijuana out on a table. When no one claimed it as their own, they arrested everyone in the house. The home was then searched and more drugs and weapons were located.
The issue with this case goes beyond the drugs and weapons found in the home. It has to do with how police handled the situation. It is believed that 64 people were falsely arrested and charged for crimes they did not commit. According to the NAACP they were subjected to illegal search and seizure. Some of the victims have even suggested police used excessive force.
The vast majority of police officers in New York and elsewhere are good, hard-working men and women who do their best to do their jobs their right way. Unfortunately, mistakes are often made, as they seem to have been in the case mentioned above. When they are, it is okay to question if one is a victim of civil rights violations. Those who believe that they are victims of such violations do have the right to seek compensation for their losses. This they can do by filing the applicable civil claims against those individuals deemed responsible.
Source: myajc.com, “Bartow DA drops drug charges, but NAACP says civil rights violated“, Alexis Stevens, Jan. 12, 2018