Over the weekend, anti-police activists shared a video on social media that appeared to show a Wisconsin police officer planting evidence inside a vehicle during a routine traffic stop. Taking place last Wednesday, the video quickly went viral with many calling for an investigation and the officer in question to be fired. But as always, there are two sides to every story, and it just so happens the other side has video proof that the officer didn’t plant evidence as so many want to believe.
While the 14-second video doesn’t show it, the traffic stop started when the Village of Caledonia Police Department clocked a vehicle going 63 mph in a 45 mph zone. After the car was pulled over, the officer did a routine search and tossed a small baggy, that he found on the suspect, in the back seat of the car. The passenger, who first recorded the incident, catches the baggy, saying “Hey bro, what’s that?” He also adds, “What you just threw in here. I got you on camera, bro.”
Although activists want nothing more than to prove all cops are dangerous and racist, the police department quickly reviewed the body cam footage from the officer and found he retrieved the empty baggy from the driver.
Wanting the public to have the whole story, Police Chief Christopher Botsch released the footage and explained, “A subsequent search of one of the rear passengers produced an empty corner tear (corner of a plastic baggie) from a passenger’s pocket. The empty corner tear did NOT contain any illegal substance; however, this type of packaging is a common method for holding illegal drugs. The empty corner tear was turned over by the searching officer to another officer who was on the scene. That officer turned it over to the officer who is seen on video. Since there were NO DRUGS in the corner tear, the officers discarded the empty packaging material in the vehicle. This is what was observed in the video.”
Botsch was sure to add, “While we would discourage officers from discarding items into a citizen’s vehicle, the video is clear that the officer is NOT planting evidence or doing anything illegal. Additionally, the empty corner tear is not itself illegal.”
It should be noted that no arrests were made during the traffic stop and only the driver was cited for speeding.