Three Phoenix Officers Resign After Incident Where Driver Was Allegedly Forced To Eat Marijuana

1474609268529Three Phoenix police officers have resigned after a bizarre and disturbing case of abuse. Richard G. Pina, Jason E. McFadden, and Michael J. Carnicle are accused of making a 19-year-old Phoenix man eat marijuana found in his car after a stop — an act that left the man feeling ill. The resignations occurred just before the officers were fired, but there remains a couple of disturbing questions.


The man was forced to eat a gram of marijuana.

First, the video cameras of the officers were turned off at the time — another such incident where the ability to turn off cameras left an alleged abusive act go unrecorded. It would seem axiomatic that, if such cameras serve the public interest, there should not be a switch that can be used to shield arrests or actions.

Second, a fourth officer, Jeff Farrior, was reportedly aware of the abuse and did nothing. Yet, he was only demoted from lieutenant to sergeant. So let me get this straight. A supervising officer learns that three officers degraded a citizen and forced him to eat drugs for their entertainment. Yet, he did nothing and will not just remain an officer but remain a sergeant? What exactly does it take in the Phoenix Police Department to at least be demoted to patrol officer? Even if you do not believe that this is worthy of termination, why would you leave this officer with a rank over any other officers? One of the three resigned officers was just a witness according to news reports but was still being considered for termination. Here, the supervisor had a duty to act but did nothing.

There may now be a criminal investigation and presumably the driver could sue the department in tort.

What is particularly disturbing is that all three officers were in their first year with Phoenix police and were probationary employees. Yet, if the allegations are true, they could not wait to abuse their power or could not get themselves to stop the abuse of a driver. Obviously, most officers would be appalled by the conduct. However, to see such a complete failure of not just three officers but a supervising lieutenant is chilling.

48 thoughts on “Three Phoenix Officers Resign After Incident Where Driver Was Allegedly Forced To Eat Marijuana

  1. According to local news they will be charged criminally.

    You can ask Darren but the drop from lt. to sgt means going from staying in the cool office in the summer, to riding in the hot car writing tickets, plus a drop in pay. Welcome to hell.

  2. Police departments, the military, are but 2 examples of the reflection of our society. Even the best screening effort will result, from time to time, in a flaw.

    • BS. If it happened as often in our food supply as it does in our supply of law enforcement officers, you’d understand what a cop-out “from time to time” is. Cops is like a box of mushrooms. It doesn’t matter a good d**n how many mushrooms in the box you just ate were NOT poisonous.

      • There was nothing at Tucson but a fort with a 3-digit population. The Spanish presence in what’s now the southwest consisted of a scatter of settlements with three and four digit populations and a few homesteads. Santa Fe was just about the largest settlement, with a population of 4,000.

  3. Body-worn camera footage is like gold. Smartphone cameras and body cams are a gift from heaven in terms of civil rights. They surely increase the practical standards of police officers along with adding a new stressor.

    But forcing someone to eat a gram of today’s industrial-strength pot, especially if the victim isn’t a habitual user, is grossly negligent if not a battery and intended to inflict emotional distress.

    They are three stooges and perhaps a lieutenant who by his silence endorsed corruption within the Department. However, I think the lieutenant’s actions should be viewed on a case-by-case basis, and perhaps rather than discharge his demotion to sergeant was appropriate.

  4. Here we go again – the thin blue line. They should all be held accountable and terminated. That’s the only way to weed out police officers who abuse their authority. And taking such measures will restore the public’s faith in police officers as well as protect the many decent men and women who serve their communities.

    Anyone remember Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Experiment”?

  5. He later told a patrol supervisor that the officers demanded he eat the marijuana, estimated to be about a gram, or go to jail.

    I guess libertarians would prefer the officers bust him for possession.

    • One of them had 10 years around Chicago. The smart money says the Chicago cop was the instigator and roped in one of the rookies. What’s odd is that they have 3 cops working together on highway patrol on an overnight shift. Does not sound like optimal staffing.

      • Teaching Spastics to Dance – the Highway Patrol is different from Phoenix PD. They don’t patrol the same areas. Also, it is standard procedure for patrol officers to back each other up.

  6. Second, a fourth officer, Jeff Farrior, was reportedly aware of the abuse and did nothing. Yet, he was only demoted from lieutenant to sergeant. So let me get this straight. A supervising officer learns that three officers degraded a citizen and forced him to eat drugs for their entertainment. Yet, he did nothing and will not just remain an officer but remain a sergeant?

    The incident occurred on 13 September and the three officers were fired on 22 September. It’s not clear to whom the motorist complained (it says ‘a patrol supervisor’). It’s not clear to whom the 3 fired officers report. It’s not clear what he did do or did not do on a given timeline.

    What is particularly disturbing is that all three officers in their first year with Phoenix police and were probationary employees. Yet, if the allegations are true, they could not wait to abuse their power or could not get themselves to stop the abuse of a driver.

    One of them had ten years with another department. One of them was present but not participating. They were playing games with the motorist, telling him he could avoid a bust if he ate the stuff (about 70% of a nickel bag).

  7. I’m not nearly as bothered by this as I am a lot of police misconduct. I’d rather eat a gram of marijuana then be arrested for possession of a gram of marijuana. The real problem here is the criminalization of marijuana.

    • I don’t think a tiny amount of marijuana qualifies someone as a thug…yeah, sure under repressive and idiotic marijuana laws, if convicted, a criminal but…are you having a bad day? Usually you posts are sharp, cogent, reasonable and right on. But if you really don’t care if the cops shot him, that’s just phuqued up.

  8. In-car and body cameras are good to have since in reviewing the videos afterward, it makes report writing easier.

    On another matter if the accusations are proven I would have taken action to terminate the Lt. Cover-up is unacceptable to me. In fact, I believe there is probable cause to criminally charge the officers who coerced the victim into eating the marijuana.

  9. The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops. ~Robert Higgs
    http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle881-20160717-03.html

    • Ed, there are lots of good cops. The syllogism is flawed.

      Ever been given a warning rather than a citation for some stupid move you made that is clearly a violation of some manifestly unjust law as it could have been applied to you?

  10. Next to the town I live in, there is a small city. A few years ago this city had a relatively high amount of crime activity. So the mayor and city council decided to search for a new police chief. They came up with a black police officer to be the chief. The first thing he did was to get the state police to patrol the city and maintain order. Then he went into the city’s police department and cleaned house. Within 2 years the violent crime rate crashed. Most of the citizens love this guy. He was an older man so his tenure was not as long as most people wanted. Haven’t seen nothing like this since. We sure could use a few more cops like this. By the way his biggest complaint was with liberal judges. He said we lock them up, they let them go.

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