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Georgia Police Sued for Profiling Cannabis Consumers
Author: Benjamin M. Adams  09/10/2017 - 21:47:00

Three people were held in a jail overnight and forced to provide a blood sample based on a “hunch” that they were under the influence of cannabis. The problem? None of the three individuals had consumed any cannabis in the first place. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia, along with Mitchell & Shapiro LLP, has now filed a federal lawsuit since the occurrence against the Cobb County Police Department in Georgia following an investigation led by NBC’s 11Alive. The investigation found a glaring abuse of power among the Cobb County Police Deparment. 

Katelyn Ebner, Princess Mbamara and Ayokunle Oriyomi were arrested based on the “hunch” of Officer Tracy Carroll of the Cobb County Police Department who had been training for drug recognition. Carroll is certified as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. All three were charged with DUI-Drugs, until the blood tests came back negative. Although their charges were dropped, they were forced to spend months clearing their names. 

Critics have called Carroll’s actions overzealous. “They’re kind of treating him like the human drug-sniffing dog; he’s the ‘drug whisperer,’” 11Alive’s Brendan Keefe wrote. “He can see impairment in people that other officers can’t see.” Police are specifically directed to conduct a series of a dozen tests under the Drug Recognition Expert Evaluation to determine if a driver is under the influence of cannabis or other drugs. According to 11Alive’s investigation, the 12 steps were never completed by Officer Carroll.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The Fourth Amendment, the ACLU argues, clearly protects citizens from unlawful seizures. If the plaintiff is found guilty, the police department could be forced to cover compensatory and punitive damages.

The ACLU is one of the few organizations that provide a check-and-balance system to keep police officers in check. For now, even those who don’t consume cannabis are at risk of being punished for it.

The post Georgia Police Sued for Profiling Cannabis Consumers appeared first on Culture Magazine.

Original article from ireadculture:Georgia Police Sued for Profiling Cannabis Consumers


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