TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police brutality and corruption while also exploring local and national efforts to improve policing in our communities. Join the conversation, or share your own story, using the hashtag #BlackonBlue.
A dramatic video that went viral showing proof that an NYPD cop planted drugs in a Black teen’s car still somehow wasn’t enough evidence to hold the crooked cop accountable, the New York Times reports.
The Times secured the video footage an interaction with New York Police Department cops who stopped several Staten Island teens and searched their cars bent on uncovering drugs of some sort. The teens ultimately were framed by the cops after they didn’t find anything incriminating and body camera showed how one officer in particular planted marijuana and claimed to have found it on the floor of the suspect’s car.
One of the teens spent two weeks in jail.
Still, after the NYPD conducted an internal investigation, they found that there was no evidence of misconduct by the officers.
Crooked Cops on Duty
On Feb. 28, NYPD officers Kyle Erickson and Elmer Pastran stopped Lasou Kuyateh’s in a black BMW on Staten Island.
Their defense was that the car had illegally tinted windows and that 19-year-old Kuyateh failed to use his turn signal.
Kuyateh and his friends insisted that there was no weed or drugs in the car even though one of his friends admitted to having smoked weed earlier in the day.
“I don’t appreciate being lied to,” Officer Pastran responds. “I know there is weed in the car. I smell it.”
The video shows Pastran searching through the back of the car before announcing “The backseat looks pretty clear.”
Erickson then searched the vehicle and found nothing but body camera footage reveals audio of him telling his partner “We gotta find it. We have to find something. You know what I mean?”
Erickson searched again before his body camera goes dark bit Pastran’s body camera, however, catches a glimpse of Erickson fiddling with something in the backseat area.
Kuyateh at that point starts getting upset and yelling that he was being set up. He too was recording the ordeal on his cell phone.
“He is putting something in my car, yo! He’s putting something in my car!” the teen starts to shout. The officers get rattled and then arrests him.
Erickson’s body camera is activated back on four minutes after first shutting off.
Kuyateh was arrested and charged with marijuana possession and sat in jail for two weeks because he couldn’t afford bail.
Kuyateh testified at his pre-trial hearing that he was framed by the officers who deliberately planted drugs in his car.
The prosecution dropped the marijuana charge in the middle of Officer Erickson’s testimony and the case was ultimately dismissed and sealed.
The cops still have their jobs.