Judge Tosses Evidence Says Dayton Officers Staged Reason for Stop

A Montgomery County judge has thrown out evidence against a man arrested on gun charges in an order saying the Dayton police officers “staged” their justification for pulling him over and made remarks “that strongly suggests racial profiling.”

The order from Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven Dankof granted a motion to suppress evidence found in the traffic stop, including a loaded firearm. Prosecutors filed a notice Monday that they intend to appeal the order.

Defendant Calvin Wilson, 34, is charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and having weapons while under disability because of 2004 felony assault conviction.Judge tosses evidence, says Dayton officers ‘staged’ reason for stop

The police incident report says officers found marijuana, thousands of dollars and cash and a pistol loaded with hollow-point bullets despite three prior convictions prohibiting him from carrying weapons.

Court records say that officers William Davis and Bryan Camden pulled Wilson over on Oct. 1, 2016, after he allegedly cut them off on Hoover Avenue. A search of the vehicle found the gun, those records said.

‘A dark and stormy night’

The case is assigned to Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara Gorman. Dankof presided over the May 26 suppression hearing because Gorman wasn’t available, according to county officials.

“It was a dark and stormy night,” Dankof’s order began with his description of what video of the stop showed.

Dankof wrote that the police cruiser was traveling 43 mph in a 35 mph zone.

He called Davis’ testimony that Wilson pulled out two or three car lengths ahead of him – forcing him to slam on his brakes – “flatly untrue” and calculated that the video showed the vehicles were at least 18 car lengths apart. He wrote the police vehicle gently decelerated to the speed limit.

Then, Dankof wrote, the officers began a “staged” discussion.

Davis: “He pulled out there, pulled right in front of me!”

Camden: “He pulled out in front of us.”

Davis: “Had to hit the brakes to avoid…”

Camden: “Yeah, failure to yield.”

Wrote the judge: “This conversation, quite clearly synthesized by the officers in an obvious attempt to bolster their traffic stop, would be comedic were it not so sad on any number of levels.”

‘Strongly suggests racial profiling’

The police incident report authored by Davis says “I had to hit the brakes in the cruiser to avoid a collision.”

The police report says after pulling the vehicle over they smelled marijuana inside the vehicle and saw “a large amount of cash money” and a container of some kind in the center console.

“I…asked Wilson what was in the center console near the cash. Wilson admitted it was marijuana,” the report says.

Based on this, officers searched the vehicle and found the gun on the driver’s side floorboard, the report says. Wilson told police it “must belong to his ‘girl’ and ‘she must have left it in the car when she drove it earlier.’”

At some point in the video, the judge wrote, Davis said he was surprised Wilson had a valid driver’s license.

Source: http://www.mydaytondailynews.com