Undercover NYPD offices in New York arrested brothers Jose and Maximo Colon for selling cocaine in a night club. The men would almost certainly be serving lengthy prison sentences if it weren't for the fact that a surveillance video camera in the nightclub shows that the police made the whole thing up.
Paperwork signed by "UC 13200" — Officer Henry Tavarez — claimed that he told a patron he wanted to buy cocaine. By his account, that man responded by approaching the 28-year-old Max, who then went over to the undercover and demanded to pat him down to make sure he wasn't wearing a wire.
Max collected $100 from Tavarez, the report said. The officer claimed to see two bags of cocaine pass through the hands of three men, including Jose, before they were given to him.
What the tape doesn't show is striking: At no point did the officers interact with the undercovers, nor did the brothers appear to be involved in a drug deal with anyone else. Adding insult to injury, an outside camera taped the undercovers literally dancing down the street.
This isn't an isolated incident, either:
On May 13, another NYPD officer was arrested for plotting to invade a Manhattan apartment where he hoped to steal $900,000 in drug money. In another pending case, prosecutors in Brooklyn say officers were caught in a 2007 sting using seized drugs to reward a snitch for information. And in the Bronx, prosecutors have charged a detective with lying about a drug bust captured on a surveillance tape that contradicts her story.
Is it any wonder that police all over the world are trying to stop people from videotaping them?
Drug suspect turns tables on NYPD with videotape