After finding a gram of marijuana in a 19-year-old's possession, first-year cops forced the teen to eat the bud whole.
Last week, 19-year-old Edgar Castro was pulled over in his vehicle by the Phoenix Police Department for traffic violations. When the officers discovered one gram of marijuana in his car, he was reportedly forced to eat it, according to a lawsuit he filed on Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court. The pot was in packaging from a medical marijuana dispensary. It is unknown whether or not Castro holds a medical marijuana card in the state of Arizona.
In the lawsuit, Castro claims officers told him he would be charged with a Class 6 felony and that his car would be towed due to the traffic violations. He then heard one of them say, “Oh, we should make him eat it.” Reportedly, he asked several times if he really had to eat the bud, and was told he did. As a result, Castro ate the marijuana whole. It took several minutes to clear from his mouth and later made him vomit.
Castro had every intention of filming the incident but was told by the police that if he reached for his phone he’d be shot. When he asked for a drink to help with eating the marijuana, none was given.
After the disturbing ordeal, Castro was not arrested but his car was towed. “Don’t get shot tonight,” one of the officers reportedly warned as Castro walked home.
Upset by the mishandling of the justice system, Castro reported the incident. An investigation has since been launched, leading to the resignation of defendants Richard Pina, Jason McFadden and Michael Carnicle. All officers were on the scene that night and were probationary officers in their first year with the department. MintPressNews reports that Lt. Jeff Farrior, who was tasked with the initial investigation, was demoted to sergeant for failing to investigate the ordeal correctly.
Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner said in a statement that the two officers involved had been identified as possible suspects in a criminal investigation. He added, “As your police chief, I want you to know how appalled I was when I was informed about these allegations. The conduct alleged by our resident is contrary to everything we stand for as community servants.”
The 19-year-old seeks compensatory and punitive damages for claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, due process violations, excessive force, battery and negligent hiring and supervision of the aforementioned officers. David Dow and Jennifer Levine of the Dow Law Office in Scottsdale, Arizona, are representing him and could not be reached for comment.
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