DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Second Man Sues NYPD Over Jolly Rancher Arrest

Lawsuit: Cops mistook hard candies for meth

Jolly Rancher

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Jolly Rancher Lawsuit

MAY 1--A second Brooklyn man has sued New York Police Department officers for arresting him for possessing methamphetamine that was actually Jolly Rancher candies.

Omar Ferriera, 23, alleges that he was collared last June after departing It’Sugar, a Coney Island candy store where he and a friend had “purchased various candies,” including “some ‘Jolly Rancher’ brand candy,” according to U.S. District Court records.

Ferriera and Love Olatunjiojo, 26, were “detained, handcuffed and searched” by cops who suspected them of drug dealing. The officers recovered what they described in subsequent criminal complaints as a “quantity of methamphetamine” from both Ferriera and Olatunjiojo.

Ferriera alleges that he was “repeatedly punched” in the face and body by cops prior to being placed in a squad car. The blows, he said, left his face “bloodied, bruised and swollen.” After being transported to the 60th Precinct, Ferriera added, he and Olatunjiojo were both strip-searched.

While a patrolman initially told prosecutors that the seized items field-tested positive for the presence of narcotics, a subsequent NYPD lab analysis revealed that the red and blue “crystalline rocks of solid material” contained no controlled substances.

Three months after Ferriera and Olatunjiojo were arrested, prosecutors dismissed separate misdemeanor criminal complaints filed against them. The complaints included assertions from an arresting officer that he “had professional training as a police officer in the identification of methamphetamine.”

Olatunjiojo sued cops last year for false arrest and civil rights violations. Ferriera recently joined that federal lawsuit, which also accuses NYPD officers of falsifying evidence and excessive use of force. The amended complaint does not specify monetary damages being sought by Ferriera and Olatunjiojo. (7 pages)