Louisiana authorities are investigating a viral video that allegedly shows an officer planting drugs on a black male suspect.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says the incident occurred at around 3 p.m. local time in the area of Commerce Street and 6th Street in Bridge City, Louisiana. Authorities were reportedly responding to a call about a man in a red T-shirt and tie-dye pants selling drugs in the neighborhood. The sheriff's office says police had approached an individual who fit the description, but the man allegedly resisted officers' attempts to investigate the situation and was ultimately put in handcuffs.
A bystander filmed the arrest on a mobile device, capturing a group of police surrounding the male suspect as he laid near the sidewalk proclaiming his innocence.
"There ain't no crack in the bag ..." he's heard shouting. "Are you serious?"
The footage then shows an officer place a small bag with a white substance on the ground. Onlookers began shouting at the officer, informing him they were recording the arrest. The officer looks up and begins rushing toward the person behind the camera, as voices are heard screaming, "Get out the way! Go inside!"
The video was shared on Twitter, and has since been viewed more than 3.4 million times.
THIS IS WHATS GOING ON IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD! JP PUTTING DRUGS ON PPL!!! pic.twitter.com/KHZMGFKWXB— Simply Jasmine K (@PrettyJasBadAss) March 16, 2020
"The video in question is part of the evidence that has been collected in this case, the sheriff's office wrote in a statement. "It has been alleged by third parties that evidence on the scene was planted by one of our deputies. Our on-scene deputies have been interviewed in this matter and gave reasonable explanations to the actions depicted in the video."
The sheriff's office says the bag in question was collected as evidence, but tested negative for narcotics. Authorities also claim that the suspect bit a deputy during the investigation. The deputy was reportedly treated at a hospital and has since been released.
"The arrested individual was not booked with any narcotics charges," the JPSO statement read, "but will face charges for battery on an officer, battery on an officer with injury, and resisting arrest with force or violence."