Louisiana deputy didn't plant drugs in viral arrest video but took it out of suspect's pocket, says sheriff
The deputy was accused of planting drugs on the suspect during his arrest, raising several questions on social media
A Louisiana deputy was accused of planting drugs on a suspect in a viral video of his arrest on the Westbank, raising several questions on social media. However, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office has now given an explanation with respect to the arrest that was reported on Monday in Bridge City.
Police responded to a 911 call on Monday afternoon after reports of a man selling drugs around Commerce and 6th streets, per an earlier statement. When officers found the man who fit the description, they identified him as Dominique Griffin. According to a report by WDSU, Griffin resisted attempts by the officers to search his person, leading to his arrest.
What's more? One of the responding deputies was bitten during the arrest. Sheriff Joe Lopinto held a news conference to address the viral video, and a spokesperson revealed how an investigation was launched as soon as allegations that one of the deputies planted evidence near Griffin surfaced.
The video, which lasts less than half a minute, shows Griffin on the ground while one of the deputies places an item on the ground and then picks it up again.
During the news conference, Lopinto said each deputy at the scene was interrogated and that their accounts "remained consistent with their earlier statements."
"All maintained that the bag containing pills was removed from the suspect's pants pocket prior to being placed on the ground and then picked up again, which was depicted in the social media video," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
Investigators, who obtained a search warrant for Griffin's cellphone, found details on the device that "connected Mr. Griffin to the drug evidence seized from his pants pocket" and also revealed the planning and scheduling behind his drug sales, according to a news release.
Griffin subsequently apologized for biting one of the deputies, the Sheriff's Office said.
According to Lopinto, the crime lab confirmed the item that was placed on the ground had methamphetamine. The sheriff also revealed that Griffin owned up to his mistakes as he didn't want false rumors to spread about what really happened. "He was, again, remorseful for not only the deputy that was accused of planting the narcotics, but also very remorseful for the deputy who he bit during the arrest," Lopinto said.
Aside from two narcotics charges, Griffin also faces counts of battery on an officer, battery on an officer with injury and resisting arrest with force or violence.