ELKHART — The recent arrest of an Elkhart man suspected of marijuana possession was less than perfect, according to Elkhart’s mayor and police chief. They said the officer should have de-escalated rather than use force.

“I immediately thought that there was probably a better way to get that done,” Mayor Rod Roberson said.

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(17) comments

Seven

The mayor is sending a subtle message to the police officers that patrol the street to be reactive not proactive. The officer would have been better off ignoring the smell of marijuana.

trawetst

The fellow had $5k. on his person. His bond amount? $5k. Hmm...

Joe King

Breonna Taylor

sidearm

Are you a member of BLM Joe? Do you agree with their platform?

fire111

Unlike Joe and his Breonna Taylor bait, I prefer to hear or read the "official" info of this terrible occurrence. MSNBC is never official!

SanFran Kid

EPD have been out of control for years,attorneys from other counties will tell you that they have a reputation of being cowboys

Joe King

I don’t think smelling weed is just cause..especially if you don’t see them actually smoking it. Could a neighbor be smoking it? Does that giv the police the right to start busting in homes and searching until they find it? They didn’t find anything. No charges. I would have done the same thing. Respect is earned, not giving...time to start holding police accountable.

C'monMan

Wrong as usual Joe. Look up the Plain View Doctrine. This includes plain smell and plain hearing as well. It is enough to detain long enough to conduct an investigation, which does include searching a vehicle without a warrant. Yes, maybe the officer should have waited for another officer, but I am not sure that would have helped de-escalate the situation. What would have helped is if this young man would have just cooperated in the first place.

Joe King

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has permitted warrantless seizures of items in 'plain view' and has recognized that the contents of containers which can be inferred from external indications also fall within 'plain view,' it has yet to adopt categorically the 'plain smell' analogy. Further, the officer saw no one smoking weed nor was it in plain site. The smell could have been coming from anywhere or he could have driven 10 miles north in Michigan. Smoked it legally there, and drove home. No crime committed. He racially profiled...by his own admission...the subject...people who smoke or carry drugs are bad people...he didn’t know there were drugs there...he assumed. And found none... someone earlier could have smoked in the car and not him....too many assumptions and not actually witnessing a crime. I’m surprised the officer didn’t knock out a taillight and then write him a ticket for a busted taillight... there are violent crimes happening, there are car thefts happening....and they choose to respond to this? What about the 2 cops that beat up a handcuffed man? And the other 2 cops that watched and did nothing? Start there looking for crimes... BLM.

fire111

Certainly Joe you are correct. You DON'T THINK!! The olfactory sense is a viable investigative tool. Even more with a police dog's training! But there is no mistaking the odor of weed! And Joe... you may not like it , but marijuana is still illegal in Indiana. And sure Joe a police officer "could get a search warrant for a residence" on the sense of smell! Yes they did find "shake" in the auto! Yes the man admitted to smoking weed and that's what the officer smelled from the auto and suspect! I would lie also if I was on probation and got caught with weed! His previous pleas to drug charges and resisting serves to show his opposition to being cuffed and questioned. And Joe! When was the last time you were carrying $5000 cash on your person. Proves nothing. I know! Tee Hee!! A little story Joe. Years ago EFD was dispatched to a house fire in an upscale area of N E Elkhart city. On arrival we found a Chevy Suburban fully engulfed and also garage fully involved! WE also could smell marijuana odor. Fire extinguished and overhaul started, the pungent weed smell was very apparent . Checking walls for extension we were stopped by the owner from entering the home. But we could tell the common wall between house and garage had been breached by flames. Lo and behold Joe the owner finally allowed us to the kitchen area. Tri level home. Basement a total weed grow operation! PD was notified! And weed grower called mommy to the scene for his escape. The PD shadowed mom and son all over Elkhart until a search warrant was issued. At that point both mommy and son were arrested. What I'm getting at Joe is law breakers tend to lie. Law breakers tend to deceive! After questioning the subject above admitted he broke the law. Had he just cooperated, he probably would have gotten just a referral to his probation officer! By the way! The mayor is going to be really busy if he keeps micro managing.

fire111

When I was a child I was taught to obey an order from police . It has served me well! It's time we teach even adults the same. Had the man just done what was ordered, nothing else would had happened. No one's rights were abridged.

Sunsoaked

Yes, follow the order of the officer. I agree. I will add, however, this officer had two options and waiting for other officers to arrive was one of those options and letting this man sit on the curb rather than hand cuffing him and escalating the situation. The man was simply parking his car and walking into the house. "I smell marijuana" is, in my opinion, misused by some officers and liberties are taken and situations escalated. Seems quite excessive to handcuff someone who is walking into a house due to "smelling" marijuana. Police officers need additional cognitive training; thinking, problem solving, and yes verbal de-escalation training. This will help them protect and SERVE the community. Joden- not "all of them"

Joe King

Perfect answer from an oblivious white person with no understanding of history about past and current police abuse on minorities

sidearm

That’s the way to jump right in and defend the police Joe. Do you really hate law and order that much? Are you that ashamed of being white?

Joe King

Another clueless answer from a white person who has no ideal about white privilege and the police abuses going back since Jim Crow era. I only support the good cops...I guess I will have to sniff them out since they support the bad cops...its hard to tell them apart.

Joden

Elkhart police clearly have bionic pot sniffing noses. They use this as an excuse to constantly mess with people. Fools. All of them.

Mill2929

You must have missed the part where the guy admitted to smoking pot in the car before he was stopped. Apparently those "bionic pot sniffing noses" are pretty effective.

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