Who's Drugs are These?
If it wasn't for the fact that this settlement cost taxpayers, I'd find this whole thing comedic.
Mark Lilly was charged with possession of cocaine in July 2004 after he was arrested for offering to sell drugs to an undercover officer. Police who searched Lilly's vehicle did find fake drugs in the car. But canine officer David Newton then placed real drugs in Lilly's Mercedes as a training exercise for his dog. Newton forgot to retrieve the cocaine packet, and Lilly was charged with drug possession when other officers searched his vehicle and found the real drugs.What does Lilly get for his troubles? $24,999. A relatively small sum of money, but when it is for a "violation" of his civil rights, it seems ridiculous.
Lilly was selling drugs to an undercover cop. Sure the drugs were fakes, but since Lilly stated that they were drugs, it should count the same as actual posession. We are too lax on these slimeballs.
Of course, when a criminal's "civil rights" are violated, the ACLU is there to step in and back the scumbag.
Of particular concern to the ACLU was the fact that when police officers David Parker and Kevin Collmar testified in court at Lilly's preliminary hearing, they didn't mention that the possession charge should have been dropped.Were the officers notified of the charges at the hearing? Maybe they were hoping, like I was, that no one would notice. Or maybe it was because they had already sent a notice to the prosecutor that the charge was in error.
What is significant in the Lilly case, said Peck and Potter, is that it led to police ending a long-standing practice of placing narcotics inside the vehicles of law-abiding motorists as a training exercise for drug-sniffing dogs. Sheriff Bill Young suspended the practice in April 2005.Probably a good idea. I'd hate to think that something like this could happen again. I think the most important thing to remember is that it was a mistake. The cops are being punished and a slimeball got to go free with an extra $25 g's in his pocket. Thanks, ACLU. Once again you demonstrate why you should lose your 501(c)(3) status.
The ACLU: Keeping criminals on the street at taxpayer expense since 1920.