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September 04, 2012
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Video: Utah troopers sued over swallowed evidence arrest

UHP troopers observed a small bag inside a suspect's shoe from which he took a pill

By PoliceOne Staff

OGDEN, Utah — A man is suing the Utah Highway Patrol over a traffic stop in which he claims troopers used excessive force.

On July 9, Ronny Todd May was pulled over for running a red light and following a vehicle too closely, according to the Salt Lake Tribune

After initial questioning, troopers spoke to the driver of the second vehicle, described in a trooper's report as a "known drug user" who had worked as informant with the Weber Morgan Strike Force. According to the report, she told the trooper May had methamphetamine on him.

Troopers conducted a drug search of May and observed a small bag inside his shoe that contained a "loose granular white substance", according to May pulled out a pill, which was later found to be a prescription methamphetamine medication for narcolepsy, and swallowed it.

When a trooper demanded he spit it out, dash cam video shows May resisting and pushing the trooper away. Backup officers are seen rushing over to assist, and in an attempt to gain compliance, the group takes May to the ground, where it appears he is kicked and punched.

Attorney Rober Sykes claims in the lawsuit the troopers violated May's civil rights and did not follow the legal standard for force related to swallowed evidence. He is seeking $250,000 in damages to cover May's medical treatment for a concussion, bruises and abrasions.

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