A New York Police Department officer is still roaming the streets after his own body camera captured him apparently planting drugs on innocent people twice.
The Intercept acquired bodycam footage reportedly showing Officer Kyle Erickson planting weed in a car during a traffic stop on March 13, 2018.
In the video, Erickson and his partner Elmer Pastran, pulled over a Staten Island driver who supposedly had a broken taillight. Jason Serrano was sitting in the passenger seat during the stop. Serrano, who was recovering from a stab wound, and his female friend were ordered out of the car after the cops claimed they smelled weed.
“I can barely move,” Serrano said while lifting his shirt to show the wound on his abdomen.
“I don’t want to see that,” Erickson replied. When the officers demanded to search Serrano’s jacket he kept protesting — “There’s nothing in there. … I’m not getting searched for no reason” — and was eventually thrown to the ground despite the severity of his injuries.
“They said I was resisting arrest, but I just didn’t want to hit the floor, the only thing I was thinking about was [the injury],” Serrano told The Intercept. “I still had staples in me. … I couldn’t even stand up straight.”
Erickson searched the car while Pastran searched Serrano’s jacket, but they didn’t find anything.
“We gotta find something,” Erickson can be heard telling Pastran.
Erickson goes back to the car for another search. His body camera shows him fiddling with a small nugget of weed before he dropped it in a cup holder. The officers exchange a look and asked each other if they were “good,” as if they were confirming Erickson’s plant.
Serrano was charged with obstruction of government administration, unlawful possession of marijuana, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Oddly, his friend only received a written citation. He was handcuffed to a hospital bed for five days and later pleaded guilty to resisting arrest to avoid jail time. He didn’t find out about the bodycam footage until years after his plea.
“There’s nothing to say, the video speaks for itself,” Serrano told The Intercept. “I didn’t have no marijuana, I had no weed, I had no drugs, I wasn’t driving, it wasn’t my car, the taillight wasn’t broken.”