September 17th marked the 1 year anniversary of the start of the Occupy movement. During the Occupy Minnesota event last year, several activists claimed that they were approached by a Minnesota State Trooper and a Hutchinson police office, then asked to come to their squad cars and provided with marijuana. A video surfaced supposedly documenting these events.
The accusations against the officers were that they were allegedly supplying citizens with drugs so that they could carry out the Minnesota State Patrol-Drug Recognition Evaluator Program. This Program was formally recognized in 1979 as a way to assist officers in their duties associated with drug users and dealers. Through the collaboration of medical doctors, research psychologists and other medical professionals a simple, standardized procedure was developed to train Minnesota law enforcement officers on how to detect when others are under the influence of a variety of illegal narcotics.
However, the methodology used as reported in the allegations were not proper protocol for the Program. In reaction to these allegations, the Evaluator Program was suspended and a criminal inquiry was launched against some of the officers. Recently, the officers were all exonerated from any wrongdoing and no charges were files. However, the Program remains suspended until further notice.
Regardless of the outcome of this situation, the allegations are grave. Across the country, citizens have been used in a whole host of criminal investigations directed by police officers. Sometimes, citizen cooperation is done in negotiation for reducing the extent of their own criminal violations. For instance, citizens may be used to participate in a drug deal to gather additional information on known criminal suspects. While some of these actions might be in the best interest of reducing criminal convictions for some, it is never wise to participate in these types of operations without knowing your rights and of the potential negative consequences.
Anyone who is considering being involved with any governmental action and/or investigation should ALWAYS speak with a knowledgeable and well qualified attorney that can assist you. At Keyser Law Firm, we are experienced criminal law attorneys that can assist you knowing you legal rights.Make sure to put our number at the top of your list when it comes to any issue where you may need a Minneosta criminal defense lawyer.