GA Cops Pay $1M For A Single Ounce Of Weed After Charging 64 Folks With Possessing It

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Legal Marijuana ConceptIn Cartersville, Georgia, the police don’t want a warrant to enter a residence in the event that they “odor marijuana.” And so forth December 31, 2017,  members of the Cartersville Police Division waltzed proper right into a New Yr’s Eve social gathering, with out an invite.

As a result of they drove by an condominium advanced and “smelled marijuana.” With their home windows up as a result of it was December. They usually knew precisely which unit the odor was coming from.

As soon as inside, police searched the premises, discovered lower than one ounce of weed — i.e. misdemeanor weight — and, when nobody claimed it, arrested everybody on the social gathering and charged them with possession. Seventy company, 50 of whom are Black and 5 of whom had been minors on the time, had been transported to jail by the Bartow County Drug Activity Pressure, the place they had been pressured to face exterior in winter chilly for hours ready to be strip-searched and positioned in a freezing holding cell for as much as three days. Based on the following grievance, a lot of them had been denied medical care and threatened with isolation in the event that they complained.

And regardless that the prosecutor dropped the fees inside two weeks, the arrestees’ mugshots had been already everywhere in the web. A number of plaintiffs misplaced their jobs as results of this patently ridiculous arrest.

Dubbed the “Cartersville 70,” the story rapidly went viral, as a result of oh, come the f*ck on! Or, as lawyer Gerald Griggs, talking on behalf of the NAACP informed the Atlanta Journal-Structure, “It’s merely not potential for 70 folks to own the identical alleged small quantity of marijuana.”

Forty-four of these arrested filed a federal civil rights lawsuit towards the varied regulation enforcement businesses accountable for this debacle. And this week the events got here to a settlement, with the plaintiffs splitting a $900,000 payout. Police admit no legal responsibility, with the Cartersville Metropolis Supervisor telling Fox 5 Information that the defendants had been merely looking for to keep away from the price of litigation and acknowledge no wrongdoing.

Which is a few actually costly weed, each for the younger folks at this social gathering, most of whom had been of their early twenties and should stay with the trauma of this occasion, and for the cops. Town retains its coverage of permitting for warrantless searches of residences if police “odor weed.”

Pffft. Smoke ’em when you bought ’em.

Police to pay ‘Cartersville 70′ members $900K to settle federal lawsuit [AJC]

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore the place she writes about regulation and politics.

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