Police

Florida Cop Fired for Planting Dope, Says He Did That and More Under Orders

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To serve, protect and plant drugs in your trash.

In Crestview, Florida, Police Street Crimes Unit investigator Tim White is out of a job for swiping grass from an evidence locker and planting it at a residence to beef up the grounds for a search warrant application. Even more interesting, he says he did so on orders from a supervisor. And that's just the beginning of the interesting revelations White turned over in a letter to David Cable, mayor of the city of 21,000. In fact, it's that letter that led to his newly unemployed status, and may lead to so much more.

Reports the Northwest Florida Daily News:

In the letter that led to him being investigated, White reported that he was instructed by "my supervisor" to drive to the supervisor's home.

While there, he said he was ordered to dig a hole and then told to turn his department-issued weapon over to the supervisor, who used it to kill a sick dog that belonged to a family member.

White also reported that he conducted a "trash pull" as part of an investigation and "located a small amount of marijuana."

"I advised my supervisor of my findings and my supervisor advised me 'if I was in your shoes I'd get marijuana from the SWAT closet and add it to what you found,' " he said in the letter.

"I again was in fear of losing my job and felt obligated to do as instructed by my supervisor," he added.

The third incident White reported in his letter involved him accompanying his supervisor on a surveillance mission.

"I … observed my supervisor jump a chain link fence leading to the back yard of the residence and walk towards the front door," the letter said.

It states White had reason to believe the supervisor "did in fact enter the residence."

The internal investigation conducted by Police Department Lt. Jamie Grant determined White may have committed five criminal offenses and four violations of Crestview's city policy manual.

The criminal violations included: perjury, tampering with/or fabricating evidence, official misconduct, false report of the commission of a crime and trespassing.

The supervisor, left unnamed in White's letter, which can be read in all its corruptalicious splendor here (PDF), is identified by the newspaper as Sgt. Matthew Purvines, who says no way, no how, did he do any of that naughty stuff.

The allegation of planted evidence is especially intriguing, because it illustrates just how easy it is for police to come up with grounds for search warrants, considering that they usually have a ready supply of illegal stuff on hand. From the letter:

On a day between 2008 and 2010 I was conducting an investigation which involved trash pulls in order to obtain a search warrant for a residence. After a successful trash pull one more successful trash pull was needed. I conducted the trash pull and located a small amount of marijuana. I advised my supervisor of the my findings and my supervisor advised me :if I was in your shoes I'd get marijuana from the SWAT closet and add in to what you found." I was advised again if I mention what was said to anyone he/she would make sure that I was fired from the police department. I again was in fear of losing my job and felt obligated to do as instructed by my supervisor. The marijuana was located in a "dog box" which is identified as a metal container which houses items used to assist in the training of narcotics dogs.

White justifes his obedience to the illegal and unethical orders on the grounds that "[t]his supervisor in question used and still uses intimidation as a tool to control his subordinates and make them do things that he wants them to do."This is a department where former Street Crimes Union head Joseph Floyd has been charged with racketeering after, among other things, "he used his status as a police officer to solicit sexual acts," and one-time Police Chief Brian Mitchell was fired and now seeks reinstatement even as he alleges a host of illegal conduct by city officials.

If White's claims are true, the Crestview Police Department comes across as a … special working environment that puts any bad job I've ever had in perspective, even the one in which I had to report to the owner's office once a week and answer the question "Jer, who's king of the mountain?" with "You, Don. You're king of the mountain." But even if the Crestview PD is an outlier, work environment-wise, I have to imagine that's not the only department in which police can, with relative ease, gain access to forbidden items and substances to plant on targets. That's something we all knew aready, but this illustrates that reality in detail.

So far, White has been fired, but not yet arrested or charged, and there doesn't appear to have been any further fallout from his allegations.

(HT to the source who sent me this, left unnamed because he/she didn't specify a desire to be identified and I don't want to cause anybody difficulties in an interesting town.)

Update: Mike Riggs has already had much fun with Crestview and former Major Joseph Floyd.

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  1. Florida Cop Fired for Planting Dope, Says He Did That and More Under Orders

    Ha! What have I been saying? When this country finally goes down in flames, that will be the refrain that you’ll hear most: “I was just following orders”

  2. Hors d’oeuvres. . .vich must be obeyed at all times vitout qvestion!

    1. I mentioned that once – but I think I got away with it.

      1. What’s it mean that quotes from “The Germans” have been particularly apropos lately?

        1. I’m scared to think about that.

  3. even the one in which I had to report to the owner’s office once a week and answer the question “Jer, who’s king of the mountain?” with “You, Don. You’re king of the mountain.”

    I hope your last day of work began with answering: “Sho-Nuff!”

    1. Actually, my last words were … rather more pointed.

      1. Did it go, ‘fuck you, fuck you, you’re cool, fuck you.’ After which you find out the cute girl who walked out on the job with you is a lesbian?

        1. Right expletive. Only slightly different application.

      2. BTW, the most satisfying firing occurred when a month after the occasion the manager who fired me was caught stealing equipment from the company (my warnings that he was shady got me fired) and a few weeks after that, his henchman bully whom I came to blows with on one occasion burned his own face off. Idiot tried to burn a barrel of garbage splashing gasoline on it.

        1. Note , this was not a blue collar job. This was white collar, or at the least, tie mandated job, for a Fortune 500 company that had complete thug in a middle management position at a substantial branch location.

          1. Goldman Sachs?

  4. You know who else was “just following orders”…

    1. Does this give us precedent to have them tried and executed?

      1. You know who else “tried and executed” people…

        1. The Quakers? No. Shit, I’m stumped.

          1. Ned Stark?

            1. The obedient commentariat?

              1. Is your name Hot Pie?

  5. At what point have we moved past “new professionalism” to “post-new professionalism?”

    1. *raises hand*

      Oooh! PICK ME! PICKE ME!!

  6. I’d get marijuana from the SWAT closet

    Well, that explains why they keep knocking down doors to wrong address on SWAT raids.

    They’ve been hitting the SWAT closet too hard.

    Weed is a powerful drug man.

    1. If I were you I’d get some pot from the evidence room and add it to the oregano/thyme/rosemary you found in the trashcan.

  7. “On a day between 2008 and 2010…”

    Well, THAT narrows it down. WTF?

    1. Sometime last century, shit went down, bruh.

  8. It does sound like ex-officer White could rake in some decent dough appearing as an expert witness for the defense.

  9. I would remiss in ending my comments if I did not note:

    Mistakes were made. Errors in judgment occurred. Procedures were followed – or not. Orders were given – or not.

    AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED.

    1. Also, fried chicken.

      1. thank you

    2. Except for the people getting arrested?

  10. I work a few week out of the year in Crestview, doesn’t strike me as any crappier than any other little town on an Interstate. My guess is that we just have NW Florida Daily busting their butts instead of covering for them like other newspapers…

  11. So if I remove narcotics from a SWAT locker and plant it on some Chinese granny, leading to her arrest and prosecution, the only thing I should be worried about is being fired, right?

    Wow! Truly, there’s equality before the law!

  12. get marijuana from the SWAT closet

    Hold the phone.

    WTF is pot doing in the SWAT closet? Shouldn’t it all have been booked in as evidence? Doesn’t having it in the SWAT closet mean it wasn’t booked in as evidence, and that it can’t really be introduced as evidence since the chain of custody is crap?

    I’m having a hard time thinking of any reason to keep pot in the SWAT closet except as a handy source of throw-downs.

    1. It was in the training box for the drug dogs, the ones that get all those illegal warrants from the other thread.

    2. I’m thinking a hellacious amount of glaucoma in the Swat Team…of course, a critical thinking person might ask if people with impaired vision should be going out with automatic weapons…but they are just worry warts.

    3. Dude. “Swat” closet.

      1. So, SWAT is the new Choom?

        1. For the lower 48. Or 55, whatever.

        2. After it’s used as evidence in the trial, the cops get to do whatever they want with it.

  13. On a day between 2008 and 2010 I was conducting an investigation which involved trash pulls in order to obtain a search warrant for a residence. After a successful trash pull one more successful trash pull was needed. I conducted the trash pull and located a small amount of marijuana. I advised my supervisor of the my findings and my supervisor advised me :if I was in your shoes I’d get marijuana from the SWAT closet and add in to what you found.

    Hardly anyone in the public knows the finer points of these programs.

    Were they legal?

    Hell no.

    Were they effective?

    Who knows?

    Were they done as a way to keep America safe?

    Yes.

    1. Drugs don’t kill people. Cops kill people.

    2. Intentions results

      1. Bah should be a greater than sign in there

        1. Part of the HnR HTML segregation. See also: ampersands.

          1. I’m going to begin posting in Morse, with the ampersand representing “dit” and the greater-than symbol as “dah”.

            1. Ampersand in morse code: ._…

              1. That’s a space (short pause) not a dash.

    3. That Granderson article could really be boilerplate justification for even the most pants-on-head retarded scheme (I’m sure the government can come up with something dumber than Fast and Furious), as long as somebody, somewhere, said it’s For the Children.

  14. An, err, friend of mine used to take some ribbing for being too “paranoid” to throw away seeds and stems.

    I guess it proves you’re not really paranoid if they really are out to get you.

    1. Haven’t a number of wrong door raids ended with the resident being shot, and then whoops hey, we found some stems and seeds in her trash, so it was all legit?

    2. That’s why you should always spring for the extra $75-$100/month for an apartment with a fireplace. Paranoia can be put to rest – and not just for seeds, stems, and baggies 🙂

      1. And don’t forget to recycle your broken bongs, pipes, and bubblers… Can get the feeling of helping the environment and foiling the police at the same time.

      2. Umm, he told me that seeds and stems flush just fine, thanks.

  15. The saddest part is that no one is surprised.

  16. Yet, strangely, when I go to court the court is going to take the officer’s word over mine every single time.

    1. I’m hoping you meant “if”, not “when”.

      1. No, it’s “When”… Everybody is going to be in court at some point for traffic, misdemeanor, possibly even a felony! And even with GPS data, Video, Audio, etc. the cop’s word beats evidence 9/10 times…

        1. Exactly. I doubt I’ll make it through teh rest of my life without having to go to court for something.

      1. The signal makes me laugh every time its lit.

        1. Especially because it looks like the silhouette of Garfield with a broken corkscrew stuck in his ass.

    1. Don’t worry, he’ll say the safe thing, such as that this rogue cop and his supervisor should be fired if the allegations are true, etc.

      Like casting a “principaled” vote when you know it won’t make a difference, calling for cops to be punished when you know they won’t be is the safe play.

  17. “I’m charging you with illegal possession of whatever we happen to have down there.”

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