A YouTube video involving the Utica Police Department has gone viral andpeople are looking for answers.
It was first reported on the Utica Phoenix, a video titled “UticaPolice Officers Caught on Tape” shows a 1:40 videoclip of what some say appears to be a Utica police officer plantingbaggies possibly filled with drugs in a vehicle they pulled over for running astop sign.
But, police Chief Mark Williams says the YouTube clip is only a smallsnippet of what really went down in the 26 plus minute video.
What people are seeing in the YouTube clip is the officer reaching for hisback pocket and then placing what appears to be baggies filled with drugs itinto the vehicle.
But, while looking through the entire video, the “baggies” in theofficer’s pocket appears to be evidence recovered from one of the two suspectsduring the pat-down.
Chief Williams says what is being portrayed in the small snippet on YouTubeis not a full representation of what took place.
He says the officer was sorting the drug evidence in the vehicle.
“That one snippet… he has criminal defendants outside the vehicle andhe is recovering drug evidence from each person. There is no reason to plantevidence when he already has recovered evidence on video,” said Chief Williams.
The two suspects were charged with criminal possession of a substance. ChiefWilliams says the officers found marijuana and zip lock baggies of crackresidue under both seats of the vehicle.
“He has drug evidence from both defendants. What he is basically doing istaking the drug evidence from his pocket and he is organizing the drug evidencein the vehicle of what drug evidence belongs to what defendant,” explainedChief Williams.
Chief Williams says the have been investigating this incident for over amonth now. But, the Editor in Chief of the Utica Phoenix spoke with the twopeople in the video earlier today and they have a different story.
Eyewitness News spoke with Cassandra Harris-Lockwood and she says the man inthe video is Grady Jones. He openly admits that he had the marijuana in hisjacket that night.
But, he says the female suspect had nothing to do with any of the drugs thatJones had. Grady and the female suspect said they had no idea they were evencharged with cocaine possession at the time of the arrest. Cassandra says thatthey told her that it was not until a month later that they even heard of thecocaine charges.
“They called the police department. They spoke to a woman sergeant and askedwhat they were talking about with controlled substances. The woman could notfind any charges anywhere. It was not on their initial appearance tickets,” said Lockwood.
Cassandra also says the two are more than willing to take drug tests toprove that they do not do cocaine. Chief Williams says the UPD is in contactwith the FBI and will share their full report with them if need be.