COLLINSVILLE, Il (KMOV.com) -- This week, a video surfaced on YouTube in which a Collinsville Police Officer says he placed drugs on vehicles in public parking lots in order to train his drug dog, sometimes without the permission of the car owner.
The video was uploaded to YouTube by a man named Terrance Huff. He and another man are suing Collinsville and Officer Reichert over a traffic stop the officer conducted last December.
Huff’s attorney, Louis Meyer, says the video shows clips of a five-and-a-half hour long deposition that was taped on November 8.
In the edited version on YouTube, Officer Reichert says that he removed the drugs from the vehicles after the training is complete.
Off camera, you hear Meyer asking, “Do you know if that scent stays on that vehicle?”
“Probably for a time,” Officer Reichert responds,
“So, if that car was to get pulled over an hour later and a K9 came, do you think it could possibly pick up that scent?” Meyer asks.
Officer Reichert answers, “I guess it’s possible.”
When News 4 reached Meyer by phone on Tuesday, he said it was surprising that a lot of the time they would do it without getting the driver’s consent.
“It’s just shocking that this can happen to people and I think people should be aware just because a dog alerts doesn’t mean a person is guilty,” said Meyer.
News 4 requested copies of the full deposition from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
A court clerk said the DVDs were in judge’s chambers and not available to the public. News 4 obtained a copy of the transcript from Meyer, logged by a certified court reporter.
In the questioning, Officer Reichert is asked by Meyer approximately how many vehicles Macho (the drug dog Officer Reichert handles) has trained on with the officer. Officer Reichert responds that he could safely say 100.
According to the transcript, Officer Reichert tells Meyer that he’s used cars in junk yards, parking lots and squad cars. He says he has gone to hotel and grocery store parking lots and that sometimes he has the vehicle owner’s permission.
Meyer asks, “Have you ever done just without their permission?”
Officer Reichert answers, “Yes.”
Collinsville Police say that training drug dogs on random vehicles is not part of the department’s standard operating procedure. If it has been done, the department says it would address it. The department says it has not seen the full deposition and cannot comment any further on the video or the lawsuit.
Meyer says Officer Reichert said the drugs were in satchels that he keeps in his vehicle for training. Meyer says he’ll have an expert determine how much of the drug residue can transfer to a car from the inside of a cloth bag.
But Meyer said he is not alleging that someone wiped residue on his client’s car last year.
“We have no evidence to say this is what happened to Terrance here,” said Meyer.
He says his client posted it on YouTube.
“He just wants the public aware.”