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Rochester police respond to video accusing an officer of planting evidence during a traffic stop

Screenshot from video posted to Facebook

Emily Cutts

Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.

Upadate: Rochester police communications coordinator Amanda Grayson said the department reviewed the social media video and the officer’s body camera video and determined the claim to be false, according to the Post Bulletin.

“We take these accusations seriously and will look in to it,” Rochester police Capt. Casey Moilanen said Wednesday morning, hours before Grayson’s statement.

Feb. 24—A post on social media accusing Rochester police officers of “planting a baggie” in a vehicle following a traffic stop Tuesday evening has drawn a response from the department.

The post in the Spotted in Rochester group stated “… I got a video of that cop planting a baggie in the door…” The poster later clarifies in the comments that “… after looking closer at the video, he didn’t put it in the door, it looks more like he put it between the seats.” A 3 minute, 34 second video was also posted to the page. In it, it clearly shows an officer handing a item to another officer who is searching the front passenger seat area.

It does not appear that the three or four people standing outside of the vehicle react to the exchange, which likely would have been visible from their vantage point.

“We take these accusations seriously and will look in to it,” Rochester police Capt. Casey Moilanen said Wednesday morning, adding that the department would be reviewing body camera footage and officer reports to determine what happened in the incident. “We will report back as quickly as we can to ensure that we have the trust of the community and the people we serve.”

Moilanen said police stopped the vehicle Tuesday evening because officers had probable cause to arrest one of its occupants for a controlled substance crime. That individual, who police did not identify Wednesday morning, was the only person arrested. Moilanen said officers found drug paraphernalia in the car.

According to the Rochester Police Department’s policy, “Officers shall activate their (body-worn cameras) when anticipating that they will be involved in, become involved in, or witness other officers of this agency involved in a pursuit, stop of a motorist or pedestrian, search, seizure, arrest, use of force, adversarial contact, and during other activities likely to yield information having evidentiary value.”

Rochester body-worn policy by inforumdocs on Scribd


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