Jersey Trooper Gropes Man Suspected of Carrying Weed

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Trooper Drew donned his latex gloves to rummage down the young man’s pants

Joseph Drew, New Jersey State Trooper, crossed a host of ethical and professional boundaries on the pretext of having smelled weed on a driver. Drew put on a latex glove and continued to put his hand down the man’s pants rummaging around in his underwear.

Drew’s actions are being criticized as ‘appalling’ and ‘humiliating’ while others are going further and branding the search as outrightly unlawful.

Arthur Lang, a Lakewood attorney representing the driver, has complained that the state police had failed to comply with his motion to provide the video of this incident for ten months; shocking bodycam video shows officer searching the man for drugs.

The driver’s lawsuit names Drew, his support trooper, a desk sergeant who may have approved the search, and state police as the defendants.

Trooper Drew argues that he had initially stopped the young man for tailgating and only later smelled the drug while searching the vehicle – which is permitted for medical use in the state. When a thorough search of the car turned up nothing, Drew handcuffed the driver and told him to step out of the vehicle.

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Exposition of Body Cam Video and Reaction

Tooper Drew’s body cam video show the incident in detail, and their conversation can be heard. “You can tell me where it is right now or I can go in and get it,’ Drew says.

The trooper is seen checking the man’s pockets and socks before ordering him to turn over whatever drugs he has.Then he continues, “If you think this is the worst I’m going to do, you have another thing coming, my friend.”

New Jersey State Trooper Joseph Drew (pictured in body-cam footage) found no marijuana in the car or on the driver
New Jersey State Trooper Joseph Drew (pictured in body-cam footage) found no marijuana in the car or on the driver

As Trooper Drew grabs his latex gloves from his cruiser, donning them, and continuing to push his hand down the man’s pants. The young man can be shouted hearing, “Rape!”

The young driver can be heard insisting several times he is not carrying marijuana, also questioning the veracity of the search. This irritates drew so he takes and pair of latex gloves from his cruiser and dons them reaching into the young man’s underwear groping his genitals parked by the side of Route 206 in Southampton, Burlington County. The young can be heard shouting ‘rape’. 

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After a gruelling four-minute long search, Trooper drew ticketed the driver for tailgating. As Drew walks away from the car having issued a ticket he is heard saying, “I hope you get a lot of hits on YouTube.”

State Police Internal Affairs is investigating the incident, which occurred March 8, 2017, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer

'You can tell me where it is right now or I can go in and get it,' he told the driver who claimed to be his way to work 
Trooper Drew can be seen shoving his latex-clad hand down theman’s pants
Before he appeared to 'grope' the driver, he warned him: 'If you think this is the worst I'm going to do, you have another thing coming, my friend'
‘You can tell me where it is right now or I can go in and get it,’ he told the driver who claimed to be his way to work 

Criticism has poured in since the video surfaced. Amol Sinha, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, said he was appalled the search was conducted ‘on a roadside in a humiliating and undignified way’ and that the justification for that was the odor of marijuana.

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New Jersey State guidelines clarify that anyone detained or arrested, but not placed in jail, may not be strip or body cavity searched without a search warrant or consent and authorization by a superior. However, exceptions can be made in emergency circumstances but such circumstances require the officer to prove probable cause ‘to believe that the person is concealing a weapon, contraband or evidence of crime.’

Maria Haberfeld, professor of policing and police ethics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an author of several books on the subject, says those criteria were not met in this case – not by far.

New Jersey State guidelines clarify that anyone detained or arrested, but not placed in jail, may not be strip or body cavity searched without a search warrant or consent and authorization by a superior. However, exceptions can be made in emergency circumstances but such circumstances require the officer to prove probable cause ‘to believe that the person is concealing a weapon, contraband or evidence of crime.’

Maria Haberfeld, professor of policing and police ethics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an author of several books on the subject, says those criteria were not met in this case – not by far.

The officer appears to become annoyed after failing to find marijuana on the driver. 'He reeks,' backup trooper Andrew Whitmore is heard to say
The officer appears to become annoyed after failing to find marijuana on the driver. ‘”He reeks,” backup trooper Andrew Whitmore can be heard in the background
State Trooper Drew remains on patrol while an investigation into his actions is pending
State Trooper Drew remains on patrol while an investigation into his actions is pending

‘To reach into someone’s underwear, it has to be for a really good reason, not for marijuana,’ she said, describing the trooper’s behavior as ‘erratic’.

Drew and backup trooper Andrew Whitmore, whose body-cam footage was release, are still on patrol pending the outcome of the inquiry.

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8 Comments

  1. This happened more than two years ago. What were the results of the inquiry and what was the verdict in the $900,000.lawsuit against the city and the two cops? Wouldn’t they be over by now?

    • Seriously? It’s been more than two years for this case? I agree with Patrick: “What were the results of the inquiry and what was the verdict in the $900,000 lawsuit against the city and the two cops?”

  2. Maria Haberfeld has no idea what she is talking about. It is against the law for a police officer or a state trooper to go into any man’s pants even if it is a for a good reason. You need a medical professional to do that and in a hospital setting. These cops were out of line, and I’m surprised that trooper Drews partner did nothing. If I was there trooper drew would be eating dirt and in handcuffs. At his wake, nobody would recognize him. That filthy pig should have bee fired.

    • I don’t think you read her comments closely. She was quoting New Jersey law and said this case did NOT meet the criteria.

  3. until lawsiut verdicts reach tens of millions of dollars bankrupting local governments this illegal behavior will continue… I as a tax payer am pissed that corrupt cops can willy nilly just break the law… Keep their jobs and collect a hefty pension after 20 years that my tax dollars support!

    • Not only that but the lawsuits that they lose guess who got to pay that bill to tax payers. Not only do we pay these current cops salary’s we also have to foot the bill when they go rogue

  4. There is really no good cop or a bad cop…
    its a mental issue really…a pqychologically incapacitated cop.
    badge, gun and a blue shirt affects them psychologically..
    a quarterly psychological evaluation is necessarry
    to make sure they are fit to consuct their duty

  5. You put the Donate button right at the top but don’t tell us what the outcome was. FUCK YOUR DONATIONS…

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