Florida Officer Accused of Planting Drugs in Vehicles During Traffic Stops

Rare | 7/1/2019 | Silke Jasso
normanorma (Posted by) Level 4
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A Florida police officer is now under fire after disturbing body camera footage shows him planting drugs in a woman’s car and arresting her. Shortly after Sheriff Deputy Zachary Wester allegedly did the same to over 100 other victims, leading to 10 arrests. According to reports Wester was fired from his job and a criminal investigation is now under works by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. No criminal charges have been filed at this time but some victims are reportedly being subpoenaed for interviews in connection with the investigation.

Mary Maddox, a Tallahassee attorney who is representing victims in cases against the officer, said she was working with 30 individuals who fell under the officer’s dirty work. The officer’s behavior might have been unnoticed if it wasn’t an assistant State Attorney, who is responsible for reviewing evidence before filing charges and several arrests categories, which includes drug possession.

Christina - Pumphrey - Assistant - State - Attorney

Christina Pumphrey, an assistant State Attorney at the 14th judicial circuit, stated that she discovered the disturbing similarities across body cam footage of Wester’s arrest. She stated that some stops were conducted illegally, and also contain footage that conflicted with written affidavits. She also stated that people’s reaction to their arrest seems unusual.

After investigations and Wester’s firing, the attorney’s office did not make an immediate move to drop the cases of the people who were still out on bond or in jail. Pumphrey stated she was getting explicit instructions “to not dismiss the cases.” She stated, “I know these people are sitting in jail. I know that the particular charges they’re in jail on they’re either innocent of, based on the information I see, or there’s no way I could take this in front of a jury.”

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