UTICA, N.Y. — The Utica Police Department PBA and the Utica Police Union are consulting with attorneys who specialize in defamation after a newspaper claimed that a heavily edited viral video shows officers planting evidence.
The Utica Phoenix posted a correction and an apology after an edited video surfaced that appeared to show officers placed drugs in the hands of a suspect after a traffic stop, but publisher Cassandra Harris-Lockwood, declined to say she was sorry, according to WKTV. The damage, however, is already done, said the union president — apologies and corrections aside.
"If she apologizes to the officers, it's still out there. These officers, some of their integrity and credibility has somewhat been diminished," UPD PBA President Dominick Nitti said.
Police recently released the full 30 minute video to show all of the circumstances surrounding the incident after the black community, crying racism, said the edited one minute, 40-second snippet — titled "UPD Caught on Tape" — shows an officer place a baggie on the car of a driver he'd just pulled over.
Police, PBA, and union members say no wrong occurred, and to protect the integrity and credibility of the officers involved, will do their best to use the law to promote their cause.
"It's just irresponsible journalism on the part of the Phoenix, that's the main thing there and us as a union, we're going to protect our members so legal action will be taken against the Phoenix," Nitti said.
Parts of the edited video are below, and the full version can be viewed here.