Judge Blasts Police for Failing to Save Dashcam Recording in Big Marijuana Bust
After throwing out an indictment against a suspect found in possession of a large quantity of marijuana in 2014, a Union County Superior Court Judge criticized a Linden police officer who failed to preserve a dashboard camera recording of the suspect's arrest.
Superior Court Judge Joseph Donohue's criticism also extended to the Union County Prosecutor's Office, saying the agency failed to correct an ongoing trend of police departments not saving dashboard camera videos, NJ.com reported.
"You can't make discovery with decisions that are no longer in existence. The prosecutor's office has been on notice of this for many years," the judge said. He said it's "inconceivable" that the officers are left in charge of preserving the videos.
Defense attorney Joshua McMahon filed a motion arguing that "Linden police wrote multiple and differing reports of the March 14, 2014 arrest of Arrend Santiago, 26, of Elizabeth," the NJ.com article states.
The attorney provided the court with evidence showing that officers had written conflicting reports of the arrest and also failed to indicate in their reports that the dash camera video of the arrest existed. Subsequently, Donohue dismissed the indictment on Oct. 30.
The Union County Prosecutor's Office has until Nov. 30 to appeal the judge's decision to dismiss the indictment.