PHOENIX - The Phoenix Police Department has identified four officers officers after they were accused of forcing a man to eat marijuana.
Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner said at a news conference Thursday that the three officers involved in the incident resigned. Two of the officers are subject to a criminal investigation and one is a witness.
Officers Richard Pina, Jason McFadden and Michael Carnicle were all probationary employees in their first year with Phoenix PD.
A 19-year-old man made the allegations after he was stopped for a traffic violation at about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 13.
Officers found about a gram of marijuana in the man's car, according to the statement.
The officers allegedly told the man to eat the marijuana to avoid being taken to jail. He apparently did, and was issued traffic tickets and allowed to leave.
According to police, the officers did not have their body cameras activated, so there is not footage of the incident.
Yahner said Lt. Jeff Farrior did not investigate appropriately and has been demoted to sergeant.
Friday, police said the teen will likely not face drug charges.
Yahner issued a lengthy statement Thursday confirming the department is investigating the allegations.
The Phoenix Police Department was recently made aware of an incident involving alleged misconduct by several of our officers. The incident is currently under both criminal and internal investigation. The allegations against these officers are disturbing and upsetting.
The allegations were brought to our attention by a 19 year old male who lives in Phoenix. He reported that several officers stopped him for a traffic violation around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 13 near 4500 West McDowell Road. The officers are reported to have found marijuana in his vehicle during the stop. Upon the discovery, the officers demanded he eat the marijuana to avoid being taken to jail. The resident reported that he ate the marijuana, was issued traffic tickets and then released from the scene.
The Phoenix Police Department has a strong history of holding officers accountable for their actions, and this includes seeking criminal charges whenever appropriate. Two officers have been identified as possible suspects in the criminal investigation. As the investigations proceed, I will continue to share information as allowed by law.
As your Police Chief, I want you to know how appalled I was when I was informed about these allegations. The conduct alleged by our resident is contrary to everything we stand for as community servants. I have directed our criminal and internal investigators to make their inquiries thorough and swift. Once the facts are determined, I will take quick and appropriate action to ensure those involved are held accountable for their actions.-- Chief Joseph Yahner