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Body camera video released in response to social media post claiming police planted evidence

Police dispute claim of planted evidence
Police dispute claim of planted evidence
Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 2:22 PM CDT
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CALEDONIA, Wis. (WBAY) - An incident caught on camera involving officers with the Caledonia Police Department during a traffic stop has gone viral after the video was posted on social media, and prompted the department to release body camera footage of the stop.

In the social media post including the 14 second cell phone video clip, it claims an officer with the department planted evidence in a vehicle. Action 2 News has reached out to the person who filmed the incident for permission to use the video clip, but have not heard back as of this publishing. The man’s Facebook page identifies the man who filmed the incident as “La Savoo”, who says he is a music artist from Racine. You can see the post and watch the video by clicking here to view it on Facebook.

Police responded to that claim Saturday night by releasing body camera video, which can be found later in this article, as well as in the video above.

According to Caledonia Police Chief Christopher Botsch, the vehicle was pulled over for speeding, and was going 63 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Chief Botsch say the vehicle had four people inside, including the driver, who officers identified by her license. Her name has not been released by police as of this time.

Botsch stated in a Facebook post regarding the incident that the front passenger declined to identify himself when asked to. He went on to say the rear passengers weren’t wearing seat belts, and were also asked to identify themselves.

According to Botsch, the driver and the rear passengers were removed from the vehicle, and during a search of one of the rear passengers, police say they found an empty corner of a plastic bag - which they say is also known as a corner tear - from a pocket.

Police go on to say while the plastic material officers found is commonly used for holding illegal drugs, the empty corner tear did not contain any illegal substance.

According to the police department, the searching officer gave another officer on scene the empty corner tear, who Chief Botsch says was the officer shown in the viral video. The officer who was shown in the video stated to “La Savoo” that he did not want to hold on to it, and discarded the bag in the vehicle.

None of the officers at the scene have been identified by police.

The Caledonia Police Department says “While we would discourage officers from discarding items into a citizen’s vehicle, the video is clear that the officer is not planting evidence or doing anything illegal. Additionally, the empty corner tear is not itself illegal.”

While a speeding citation was issued, police say no one was arrested during the incident. As of this publishing, police have not stated why they conducted a search of one of the passengers.

Officials say they will be releasing all body worn camera video in the near future, adding there is more than six hours of video between the body worn cameras worn by four different officers, as well as the squad camera.

Botsch says the department is still in the process of reviewing those videos, and is doing a “comprehensive internal review of the incident.”

Caledonia is located in the northeast portion of Racine County.

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