A New York man who was subjected to a search and seizure said that he plans to sue the police department. According to the man, police officers searched his home in Gowanda and then seized marijuana without a search warrant. The man was charged for unlawfully growing cannabis and criminal possession of marijuana, but his charges were later dismissed.
Caught on camera
The entire incident was caught on the accused man’s surveillance camera. According to the man’s attorney, police officers forced their way into the man’s home without a search warrant or his consent. The incident occurred after police received an anonymous report about a smell coming from the man’s home.
Police officers reportedly obtained a search warrant after they had already conducted the illegal search and seizure. The accused man says that police lied to obtain the search warrant, making several false statements about their visit to his home. Police claimed that the man’s door opened slightly from their knocking and marijuana was visible on a dining room table before they entered.
In the man’s surveillance footage, the marijuana cannot be seen in plain view as the officers claimed. The marijuana was actually inside of a paper bag that was sitting on a chair. Another inconsistency was the claim that the man’s door was partially opened from the officers’ knocking. In fact, the man’s door would only be able to open toward a person who was knocking from the outside.
The man’s charges were dismissed six months after they were filed. The prosecutor in Cattaraugus County said that the case seemed too problematic to move forward with. In addition to the inconsistencies in the officers’ story, the man says that the officers yelled at him, demanding that he “consent to search.” The man was also arrested without being read his Miranda rights.