Our Boys in Blue

I had this sent to me by several readers.

In that 2005 incident, Chrisman and his partner arrested a homeless woman on an outstanding warrant. According to the internal affairs investigation, Chrisman and his partner planted drug paraphernalia on the woman -- because they wanted to play a joke on the woman, who is mentally challenged.

Take a look at the video -- Chrisman puts a brilo pad and pipe in his partner's left hand. His female partner then pretends to pull the pipe out of the woman's dress.

Chrisman said he knew the suspect, and just wanted to get a rise out of her. He was suspended for one day and put on the Brady List -- his partner was also suspended for one day and put on the Brady List.

The woman wasn't charged with anything related to the planted evidence.

Video at the link.

It is hard to find the humor in planting evidence on a mentally-challenged homeless woman, though my guess is this became a joke only after the video appeared.

No matter what the officer's explanation, the disturbing fact is that Phoenix police officers seem to carry on their person, as part of their equipment, throw-down drug paraphernalia.   Why is no one asking why Chrisman had the crack pipe in the first place, or how his team was so well trained that they could wordlessly set up the plant.  This whole episode smacks of something well-practiced.

  • DHL

    My default for much of my life has been a reflexive trust in law enforcement. But starting about 10 years ago that began to change. And now? I assume that all of my contact with law enforcement will be an opportunity for them to exercise power. And unfortunately I am rarely wrong.

  • CTD

    I agree. Sadly, my null hypothesis in now to not believe anything "law enforcement" says until presented with scads of evidence to the contrary. I wish I didn't feel that way.

  • James H

    Isn't this a boon to defense attorneys? Now, anyone on trial for possesion of drugs or paraphenalia can claim it was planted, roll out the video, and talk about how these officers seemed to really have the evidence-planting routine down. Certainly anyone arrested by these particular officers may have a good shot at it.

  • Melvin H.

    Both police officers were, according to the story, "put on the Brady List."
    I have not heard of that before; what is the Brady List?

  • gasman

    And how many times is this 'joke' played out each day and there is no video camera around to accidentally catch the act, someone to review the tape and recognize it, and report it. I'm guessing this represents the 1:1000 tip of the ice berg. Most of the time when something is found on an icky person that we would all rather be guilty of something and sent away we cheer for it. But how often is it planted evidence? As long as it is a person of low social status most don't really care, and the cops know this and are smart enough to avoid planting evidence on folks with the ability to mount a legal defense.

  • DannyJ

    Brady List comes from a 1963 Supreme Court ruling that requires prosecutors to tell defense attorneys about any police officers who may have credibility issues on the witness stand.