Civil Liberties

K-9 Police Officer Admits Planting Drugs on Random Vehicles To Train Dogs


Some months ago, Star Trek fan and filmmaker, Terrance Huff, uploaded a video to YouTube of a traffic stop he and his buddy, Jon Seaton suffered in Collinsville, Illinois. They were pulled over by K-9 officer Michael Reichert, allegedly for swerving between lanes on the highway. Huff denies any such thing in the dashcam video he eventually extracted from the local constabulary. But that hardly matters, since Reichert escalates to running his dog around the car, which animal then "alerts" to the presence of drugs amidst much encouragement by the officer. A pointless search ensues, resulting in a verbal dressing down of Huff and Seaton for having "shake"* on the floor of their car (which looks as messy as mine) before they're sent on their merry way. Now, a new video resulting from Huff's subsequent lawsuit shows Reichert being questioned by an attorney about his practice of randomly planting drug scent on cars in public parking lots in order to train his dog, Macho. He admits that the scent lingers, and could be detected some time later. Say, by a K-9 unit during a traffic stop.

Lodging in Collinsville, featuring Reichert's testimony:

Breakfast in Collinsville, with video of the original stop:

All in all, it's a fascinating insight into how the use of drug-sniffing dogs can be abused and manipulated. And, of how vulnerable we all are to police who don't like our looks, hold a grudge, or just have a quota to meet as we come by.

*Marijuana residue, like the loose bits of leaves that get caught in the fold of a double album when you're cleaning your dope. Ummm … If you're old enough to remember LPs.