Ever-Vigilant Orlando Cops Use Surveillance Camera to Bust a Pot Smoker


An Orlando TV station reports that police recently used one of the city's IRIS surveillance cameras to bust a pot smoker. After a sergeant monitoring South Terry Avenue and West South Street "spotted three men possibly smoking marijuana," officers approached the men, one of whom, 29-year-old Joe E. Haywood, "turned his back and appeared to put a blunt in his mouth." The cops swiftly took action:

Haywood was handcuffed and ordered to open his mouth but refused, so an officer tried for 30 seconds to use pressure points on his jaw to open his mouth, the affidavit said.  Officers said Haywood swallowed the joint during the incident and marijuana could be smelled on him….

Officers said they then noticed a green leafy substance, which they described as a unburned cannabis leaf, on Haywood's teeth…

Haywood was arrested and taken to jail. 

The charges: possessing 20 grams or less of cannabis, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, plus tampering with physical evidence, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

IRIS, by the way, stands for Innovative Response to Improve Safety. Orlandoans surely feel safer now that a notorious blunt swallower has been taken off the streets.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.] 


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  1. I remember a few years ago some genius walked into the Winn Parish Sheriff’s office wanting to file a complaint of theft. He complained that he had made a huge drug deal but had gotten ripped off. He wanted the deputies to recover his pot for him.

    So Haywood was smoking pot not only in public, but within sight of a camera. I cant quite work up tears for this fuckwit.

    Yes, the drug war is one of the worst things that has happened to our country. Yes pot should be legal. Yes, Haywood is the victim here. A victim in the same sense that that guy who climbed into the polar bear enclosure at some zoo to comfort the bears was a victim. Victim doesnt mean blameless.

    1. Oh look, I was first.

      1. It doesn’t count unless you actually say it in the first post. Keep trying though, one of these days you’ll get one.

      2. I didn’t think yall had any internet down there? How was the storm?

        1. I don’t think that part of LA caught the storm.

    2. You completely misunderstand.

      The point here is that the Orlando police have put in a multimillion dollar surveillance system to provide public safety, and their big use of it – the one that they do a press release about – is that they caught a pot smoker. One who’s probably going to get off, because without the pot the evidence against him is incredibly weak.

      Don’t you feel safer?

      1. I know it seems frivolous and wasteful. But dammit man, those ‘blunts’ could have been laced with bath salts!

      2. One who’s probably going to get off, because without the pot the evidence against him is incredibly weak.

        Evidence? He was caught on camera, plus there is the word of God the sworn officer that he had dope in his teeth.

        Unless he can afford several thousand dollars for an attorney he’ll be stuck with a public pretender who will advise him to take a plea.

        1. He was caught on camera smoking.

          Who says it wasn’t handrolled tobacco?

          1. Who says it wasn’t handrolled tobacco?

            God The officer says. Do you doubt the word of God the officer? That’s a serious charge. Why would God the officer lie?

  2. WTF, Sullum, Brickbat is supposed to lead off the day. You’re up early. Or late.

    And Alan Parsons warned us of this a long time ago.

  3. they then noticed a green leafy substance,

    On numerous occasions police officers have told me that when they searched the defendant they “felt a green, leafy substance” in his pocket then arrested him. I don’t need to explain to yall the problem with that. I think it’s bullshit that as long as they use the right buzzwords in their reports judges and most prosecutors just go right along with the cops.

    1. Of course it’s bullshit. What, did he chew his blunt 32 times before swallowing, like his Momma taught him?

    2. I spent enough time in felony and DUI court rooms to have memorized the various buzzword spiels – especially the DUI court.
      You could make a bingo card from the stock phrases.

    3. Nothing tastes so good as green feels.

  4. OMD, Big Brother is so totally watching.

    Kids: keep your 32-oz sodas under your coat.

    1. Won’t matter, you will still have a brown, sugary substance on your teeth.

  5. OT:


    Yahoo fires it’s DC Bureau chief (who knew they had one!?) for his ‘Mitt will party while the blacks drown’ remark. Well done Matthew.

    1. He just wants a Keith Olberman gig. This was his on air application.

  6. But we can’t cut spending at all.

  7. possessing 20 grams or less of cannabis, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail,

    How much in fines and penalties? Don’t fault the cops for wanting to generate revenue for the city so that they can build new roadz and whatnot.

    1. Don’t forget the substance abuse evaluation and subsequent treatment that will cost at least a thousand dollars.

      1. And when you cannot pay, out goes the warrant! Who says debtor’s prisons don’t exist anymore?

  8. Wow, they doing everything they can to be as unsympathetic as possible.

  9. Of course, this was right in the middle of the Parramore neighborhood. I used to work three blocks from that intersection. I think the cops should be more concerned with the armed robberies, assaults, batteries, and shootings in that neighborhood. That intersection is two blocks from the OPD Headquarters, so you’d think maybe people would be less inclined to stand out in the open smoking pot. Then again, when I was living there there was a gun fight with multiple people shot in the parking lot in front of the Police HQ, and as far as I know nobody was ever caught.

  10. What an article, How they can do that. If there is security camera then why they are expecting more evidence.

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