Man Who Said Phoenix Police Forced Him To Eat Pot Wants Answers From City Hall

Rev. Jarrett Maupin holds a news conference with Edgar Castro, a 19-year-old who was forced to eat marijuana by Phoenix Police officers. The officers have resigned. Photo by Kate Peifer

By Bri Cossavella

PHOENIX – A Phoenix man who accused Phoenix police officers of forcing him to eat marijuana said Thursday he was physically sick and has had to seek counseling for post-traumatic stress.

“I went home and threw up the next morning,” Edgar Castro, 19, said, after Phoenix officers two weeks ago allegedly told him to swallow a gram of pot to avoid being jailed after a traffic stop.

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a Phoenix activist, called a news conference outside Phoenix City Hall. He said Castro has suffered emotional and physical distress.

“We’re asking for the city of Phoenix to provide us with answers,” Maupin said. Among those answers: improving diversity training in the police department and vetting officers more thoroughly before hiring them.

Maupin and Castro said they will give the City Council a “few days” to respond before deciding whether to file a claim against the city.

Maupin said Castro has had to seek counseling because of post-traumatic stress, but neither man shared details about other physical effects of ingesting the marijuana.

Three officers resigned after the Sept. 13 incident and a lieutenant who was told of the allegations but failed to launch an investigation was demoted to sergeant, according to Phoenix police. Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner said the three officers, who were on probationary status, would have been fired if they had not resigned.

Yahner said last week he was “appalled” to hear Castro’s accusations.

“The conduct alleged by our resident is contrary to everything we stand for as community servant,” Yahner said in a Sept. 22 statement.

Castro gave this account of what happened at the Thursday news conference:

About 3 a.m. on Sept. 13, Phoenix police officers pulled him over in a Maryvale neighborhood, saying he was speeding. Castro said the police “visually” believed he was speeding and did not use a radar gun.

The police allegedly searched Castro’s vehicle without a warrant and found a gram of marijuana and a gun. Castro said the officers gave him a choice — eat the marijuana or go to jail.

Castro said he felt pressured and paranoid, so he ate it.

The police also issued tickets to Castro accusing him of not having proof of registration, a driver’s license, broken glass and suspended plates. Castro said the tickets were dropped.

Maupin and Castro declined to answer if Castro was legally allowed to be in possession of the marijuana, and said the actual location of the marijuana would be revealed in the police report.

“We’re talking about them making him eat marijuana on the roadside,” Maupin said. “He (Castro) is living proof of the failures of the current training tactics of the Phoenix Police Department.”

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  1. The cops were actually trying to do this dude a favor; they didn’t want to deal with the paperwork and didn’t want to deal with this kid or screw with his future. Anybody in their right mind (even if they were stoned) in the old days; would have eaten that gram and been on their way and been grateful that they were not hauled into jail or juvie. Gee, he got sick and was puking; this dude has no business smoking weed or doing any other drug because he is too stupid to know that he screwed the pooch on this one. Anybody that sells to this dude needs to cut him off immediately.

  2. I dont blame the REV. It is our society that directs money to the squeaky wheel. My youth Puerto Penasco 5 students parting driver drunk rear ended a taxi. Sitting back all got out seeing other friend to get ride bake to house. I yelled for to stop as police present next thin I knew was a M-16 butt to the forehead and the muzzle to the sternum. Threw all of us in jail mex consulate $500.00 each driver $1500.00 +$1500.00 to get car back. Chalked it up to a learning experience take the clue dude nothing here. And a DUI here with an accident alot more than $3000.00

  3. Rev. Maupin should hold this case as a positive example of what is always asked of police departments – holding officers accountable, being transparent, handling complaints quickly. PPD did all of this. But, Rev. Maupin still wants to keep fanning flames.

  4. What a crybaby, typical of most criminals. You’d think he had been really tortured, So you wanted to get high and they just helped you, now your complaining?

    • 1 gram, went HOME and threw up the “next mourning” and waited “2 weeks” to report the incident.

      I wonder how much he had to start with. He is lucky that he was not a White person, as if he was I believe that the cops would NOT have given him a “pass” going to jail especially if the citations that he received where correct.

      I am positive that the “emotional and physical distress B.S.” did not come up till the Rev., and some shyster lawyer, saw a chance to get “Millions” from the Taxpayers in a frivolous lawsuit.

  5. For God’s sake Castro, man up you cry baby. A GRAM??? The way the news has carried on you would think they made you eat a kilo. Wah!!!

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