Cops conduct an invasive pat-down on the roadside after smelling marijuana
There were cars driving by.
A body cam video from New Jersey State Troopers shows officers feeling around a man’s genitals and in his butt on the roadside in search of marijuana. The footage, obtained by Open Government activist John Pfaff, shows the driver, Jack Levine, struggling to release himself as the trooper repeatedly shoves his hands down Levine’s pants.
According to one report from local radio station 101.5, officers began to search Levine on the roadside, as cars drove by in plain sight, after they smelled marijuana in his car and on his person. The smell was so strong, according to trooper Andrew Whitmore, that even the police cruiser Levine was placed in began to smell.
Speaking to a second officer, Joseph Drew, Whitmore is heard from his body cam saying, “The dude that I removed, the driver, I moved him and put him in the back of my vehicle. My vehicle reeks.”
Whitmore can then be seen asking Levine on the roadside if he has marijuana. Levine denies that he is carrying anything on him and asks if he is free to go, claiming he is on his way to work.
The officer replies: “you’re under arrest for the odor of marijuana.”
“So now you can get arrested for somebody smelling something?” Levine says, “What is that all about?”
After that, the roadside search began. As Levine protests, officer Joseph Drew tells him, “If you think this is the worst thing I’m going to do to you right now, you have another thing coming, my friend.”
Drew then takes Levine in front of the cruiser at his request so that the dashcam can film the roadside search. From there Drew begins the cavity search, undoing Levine’s pants and searching repeatedly with no luck.
“Did you find it? Did you find it? Yo, you guys are really ridiculous,” Levine is heard saying, “You might as well ask me on a fucking date.”
The roadside video was uncovered by Pfaff after Levine filed a tort claim, which is a claim that is required in New Jersey to notify the state that a citizen intends to sue in Superior Court.
“It was the most humiliating experience I’ve ever been through,” Levine wrote in the claim, “also due to the fact that people were driving by very slowly, watching him with his hand down my pants.”
Pfaff believes the case was dismissed after an internal investigation, according to the 101.5 report. As for Levine, he was free to go to work after the officers found nothing and sent him on his way with a tailgating ticket.