A New Year's Eve party and a 21st birthday celebration led to the arrest of 65 individuals ranging in ages of 15 to 30 years old on drug possession charges. Gunshots heard near the home led police to where the party was taking place. What began as a good time in ended up leading to mass arrests, allegations of police misconduct and a civil rights investigation.
Accusations made by police
The police drug task force conducted a widespread arrest of almost everyone in the house that night. They justified their arrests by stating the individuals at the party had reachable access to the drugs provided. However, the charges made were that each person was in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The police also seized a gun regarded as being stolen. The only person whose drug charges were not dismissed was found in possession of cocaine.
Legitimacy of charges and protocol questioned
The District Attorney's office recently dropped 64 out of the 65 arrested on drug possession charges. The reason for this was simply due to the insufficiency of evidence to enforce a valid conviction. The other two guns were found to have been legally registered and in the rightful owner's possession.
NAACP leaders are calling into question the legitimacy police conduct that night. In addition to the initial drug possession charges, questions arise concerning the validity of the initial home search. A civil rights investigation is underway to analyze the events that have potential to lead to a lawsuit for police drug task force.
Drug charges don't always lead to conviction
Drug charges are common, but not all of them lead to conviction. It is the responsibility of law enforcement and government agencies to follow protocol on mandated search and seizure procedures. Lawsuits may arise when law enforcement fails to do so. Officials are subject to disciplinary measures when conducting matters outside the boundary of the rights of the accused. Legal rights and defense is available to combat false arrests and dismissible criminal charges.
Do you think the NAACP has a strong case against law enforcement in this story?