Cops Need Better Training

Hide your jelly beans! Two guys from the Bronx were thrown in jail for nearly a week because crazy coppers mistook their candy for a bag of crack cocaine.

The trouble began the night of Jan. 15, as José Pena, a 48-year-old plumber, and his longtime pal and colleague Cesar Rodriguez, 33, were headed to a party, and decided to stop at a bodega on 181st Street and the Grand Concourse.

When they came out, cops were waiting and asked to search their Ford minivan. “I said ‘Go search.’ I even opened the door,” Rodriguez told The Post.

An officer rummaged around, came out holding a “Hello Kitty” sandwich bag, and shouted “Bingo!” the men said.

“It’s only candy!” Rodriguez said, as the cops handcuffed him and Pena, and several other police cars rushed to the scene.

Rodriguez said he buys a 50-cent bag of Coco Candy, a hard coconut-based treat, almost every day. Because it easily crumbles, he puts it in a sandwich bag.

“Can you test it? Can you taste it?” Rodriguez asked the cops. “Shut up!” they replied.

“I didn’t know having candy was a crime,” he said.

The men’s lawyer, Neal Wallerstein, said the cops could have realized their mistake quickly.

“That’s the reason why they have a field-test kit,” he said, referring to the NYPD’s portable drug identification equipment.

But Wallerstein said cops just needed their noses.

“It smells like sugar,” he said.

Instead, the two men were jailed for crack possession. Pena got out after three days, but Rodriguez was held two more, until Thursday morning. [New York Post]

I keep reading stories where police act (like idiots) first, and ask questions later – or not at all.

Take for a second example this case of undercover police officers in Vancouver who, while responding to a domestic disturbance call, mercilessly beat the man who answered the door before asking him any questions. Turns out it was the wrong address – but even if it was the right one, should cops really be smashing-in peoples’ skulls without at least investigating things a little?

Speaking of skull-smashing cops, here’s some from New York going crazy at a botched drug sting, punching a handcuffed man in the head and smashing his face into the pavement:

The man was was initially charged with “obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest”, but police have since dropped the charges. He and his friend plan to sue.

And here is yet another police beating where Pittsburgh cops stomped and tased a 18-year-old honor student within an inch of his life because they saw a “heavy object” in his coat which later turned out to be a Mountain Dew bottle.

This will keep happening over and over again until there are fundamental changes in how police are trained. Police officers must see citizens as fellow human beings, the ones to protect, not the enemy.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Chief of Operations of Cannabis Culture and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.



  1. attacked on

    Geez, look at those greedy pigs all trying to get in on it! PIGS. This looks familiar, try having a seizure in public and then dealing with cops when you can’t talk or respond properly, you will get hog tied and beat with batons for more than a half hour. Then charged with assault on a police officer. Government has a death wish! If the cops are on coffee and donuts that will make them a bunch of nervous idiots ready to attack without consequences just to get high on their own short lived caffeine & sugar buzz, then be even more dangerous when they start to have withdrawal symptoms. The police keep embarrassing themselves and try to hide it, they should be banned from any performance enhancing drugs because they are illegal to gold medalists in the olympics too!

  2. Anonymous on

    This is why I teach my children that the cops are not your friends. I show them this stuff all the time.

  3. One12alpha on

    These type of people, cops or not, need to be shown that they are NOT the judge, jury, and executioner. We have a system in place for a reason. I can, barely, understand an innocent mistake. But to go so far as to beat the $#!T out of someone because you disagree with the crime they are suspected to have committed….Unacceptable.

    They, too, would be the first to say “two wrongs dont make a right.”….3 lefts do, but that’s aside from the point.

    The biggest kicker to the subject is that every time it happens, its seen as an “isolated incident.” The pig gets put on “suspension”, with pay, until the whole thing blows over and he’s back on the beat. Why are they not subject to the law’s they are to enforce? Suspension, fired? NO! PUT THE FORK IN JAIL, is what should be done. In the same jail that they’ve been sending people to, no special treatment. A criminal is a criminal, right? That’s what they would have us believe. Also, we need to look at these incidents as a whole. I see an ugly trend, and its getting worse…

    If it gets much worse, more and more people will lose all trust in law enforcement. They will defend them selves. Police will react with more force. We will respond the same. And before long, were living in pre-war Iraq. It sounds extreme to compare but hear me out…

    Suppose you were sitting in you’re home with your family, enjoying dinner… Then 20 uniformed people explode into your house with assault rifles and restrain your family and tare through your stuff. All the while, tell you nothing as to why, or under what authority they are doing so… You’d be pissed right? Sounds like a raid? No…standard military proceedure for occupying a domicile in urban operations. Seen it, done it, quit it…

    Tell me you wouldn’t want to blow them up too, and I’ll call you a liar… Just look at how some of you’ve reacted to someone else being beaten.

    Now, I don’t agree with “terrorism”, but we can’t terrorize people and call it something else…in the name of fighting terrorism no less. Just like we can’t break the law, and call it law enforcement. People will see the hypocrisy, and all respect is lost….who here respects the police right now after reading this article?

  4. Anonymous on

    Kill those fuckers before they kill us.

  5. adhd_stoner_iam on

    it’s these kind of acts that show the true nature of this, almost mob like, attitude that some officers have. they “follow” they’re order to go on a call then they “just do they’re job” beating the hell out of a s-u-s-p-e-c-t.

    Personally i think that if they’re are NOT going to be fired, which should happen with a follow up of deadly assault charges, then they should sent back to training and permanently remanded to desk duty even if that requires some transfers.

    And yes i do believe they should be fired AND charged with AT LEAST deadly assault or something in that direction. They are officers of the law who seem to have failed to follow procedures set in place and then brutally beat this guy.

    But keep in mind every one, that while they do need to be severely punished, they also obviously need help. Normal people know the difference between right and wrong. The officers who did this behaved like young teenagers still stretching (more like kicking), the boundaries. these guys are not “stable” members of society let alone stable members of the force. they should get help regardless of what the consequences of this situation are.

    (p.s. that was a sigh, not a scream)

  6. Anonymous on

    Very sad it almost makes me want to be a cop so I know I can stop it but Id probably have to arrest most of my friends

  7. Anonymous on

    I swear to fucking god if they did that to me…the cops that did it would be dead rite now