Police in Texas have responded to a social media post alleging that excessive force was used against two women when they were arrested on the basis of drug charges. The social media post spread widely after one of the women posted photos of bruises on her arm after police reportedly reached into her car and physically pulled her out of the vehicle.
The city released arrest affidavits listing the drug charges that the two women are facing. Their car was pulled over by police just before midnight on Feb. 17. The woman who reported the claims of excessive force on Facebook was driving the car while her friend was the passenger. At the traffic stop, police claimed that they smelled the odor of marijuana and were going to search the vehicle. According to police, the passenger attempted to hide a small plastic bag that contained less than 1 gram of a white substance, which police say tested positive for cocaine.
The police report says that the women were pulled from their vehicle because of this alleged attempt to destroy evidence. Police claim that they later found a glass jar containing marijuana. The driver was arrested and charged with possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana while the passenger was charged with tampering with evidence. The release of the arrest reports came after the city said that it was withholding video and audio recordings in the case.
Drug charges can be very serious and carry lifelong consequences, including a felony criminal record, prison time or extensive fines. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to challenge police practices that violate the law, including the use of excessive force or false claims of reasonable suspicion to initiate a search of a vehicle.