Three Arizona Police Resign Over Allegations They Forced Suspect to Eat Marijuana During Traffic Stop
All three officers allegedly turned their body cameras off just prior to last week's incident, which the police chief called "appalling"
The police force in Phoenix, Arizona, is smaller this week following the resignations of three officers who, according to authorities, allegedly gave a 19-year-old suspect two options during a recent traffic stop: Ingest a gram of marijuana or face criminal charges.
PEOPLE confirms that Michael Carnicle, Jason McFadden and Richard Pina have all tendered their resignations over the alleged incident, which took place last week.
A fourth officer, Jeff Farrior, was demoted from lieutenant to sergeant after it was learned he was aware of the incident but “did nothing about it,” Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner told reporters on Thursday.
“This is conduct that runs contrary to everything we stand for,” Yahner said during a news conference. “It is unacceptable, appalling and extremely unprofessional.”
Yahner said the incident is being investigated both internally and criminally but that only two officers are the subject of such probes. The third officer was merely a witness to the incident, he said.
Yahner did not specify which two officers are being investigated.
All three officers allegedly turned their body cameras off just prior to the traffic stop. PEOPLE was not immediately able to reach any of the officers involved for comment.
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Yahner said that during the stop, the officers discovered a small amount of pot and told the man that if he ate it, he’d be released. Yahner said he did and he was.
The man then went to police and told them he had fallen ill after ingesting the marijuana, Yahner said. He did not seek medical treatment following his encounter with police.
The 19-year-old man, whose name was not released by police, was issued a citation and had his car towed.
Yahner on Thursday called the allegations “disturbing and upsetting” and said then he was going to fire the officers before they could resign.
None of the three former officers has been charged with a crime.