He was doing nothing other than standing in a parking lot and drinking a can of iced tea. But he found out that this can apparently get you arrested, all on its own.
Two men had been outside waiting for friends to arrive. They were standing in the parking lot outside of a state-owned ABC Liquor Store. One of those two men was Christopher Lamont Beatty. He was holding a canned beverage, while his friend, Tino Brown, was on his cell phone.
A unidentified and ununiformed man came up to Beatty and demanded to know what he was drinking. The man said he was “the police”, but failed to produce any badge or identifying proof that he was a member of law enforcement.
The un-uniformed cop said he was sure the two were drinking alcohol. In reality, however, Tino Brown’s drink turned out to not be alcohol at all. Beatty, for his part, had refused to hand his drink over. He showed it to the unidentified officer, proving that it was only an Arizona-brand drink, “Half-and-Half” iced tea and pink lemonade — not alcohol.
The unidentified stranger told Beatty was under arrest. It turned out this guy actually was a cop, an Alcohol, and Beverage Control Law Enforcer, Rick Libero. Officer Libero threw Beatty face-down to the concrete in handcuffs.
Watch the video of the entire incident below…
Prosecutors pressured Beatty to accept a plea deal, but he held out and now he has finally been vindicated. According to the Fayetteville Observer, the Cumberland County District Court Judge Lou Olivera decided to dismiss the charges against Beatty last Thursday. Judge Olivera said that the stop was unconstitutional and that the officer had no reasonable suspicion to stop and question Beatty.
“I’m astounded this is finally over,” Beatty said.
The district attorney says that he still thinks Beatty should be prosecuted, even though the charges have now been dropped after two years!
“I clearly disagree with the decision,” Assistant District Attorney Charles Scott told a local reporter. “It’s what’s going on in many parts of the country. If you arrest or attempt to arrest people, there appears to be great anti-police sentiment in certain quarters.”