The New Jersey police officer rifled through the driver’s pockets, socks and his car — and found nothing, Philly.com reported.
State police Trooper Joseph Drew had said he smelled marijuana after pulling the motorist over for tailgating in Burlington County on March 8, 2017, the publication reported, but the 23-year-old driver said he didn’t have any drugs on him, according to court documents and body camera footage.
The trooper can be heard on video saying “if you think this is the worst I’m going to do, you have another thing coming, my friend,” the footage shows, Philly.com reported.
Drew is later seen putting his hand down the man’s pants and into his underwear while wearing latex gloves, the video shows, WKXW reported. The man starts screaming about how ridiculous it is and even shouts that he’s being raped.
"Man, I think I'm traumatized,” he says at one point.
The search turned up nothing, NJ.com reported. Drew took the handcuffs off the driver and cited him for tailgating, which was dismissed in municipal court, the publication said.
Body camera footage of the encounter was first posted by John Paff, an open government advocate in New Jersey, WKXW reported.
The motorist alleged in an affidavit that Drew “groped my genitalia and moved my private parts around,” and touched his buttocks, Philly.com reported.
“It was the most humiliating experience I’ve ever been through, also due to the fact that people were driving by very slowly,” he said.
A State Police spokesman told NJ.com on Tuesday that an internal investigation is ongoing — but the two officers involved in the traffic stop remain on active duty.
The driver’s attorney, Arthur Lang, had filed a claim in court asking a judge to allow the motorist to sue the troopers, Philly.com reported. NJ.com said the motion was denied last month, but the driver can still file a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Legal experts told NJ.com it’s hard to determine if the court will see the need for a search warrant. And it’s important whether the officers said they smelled raw marijuana or burnt marijuana.
"(If) they said they smelled raw marijuana, that's going to be an important fact," said attorney Robert Bianchi, a former prosecutor. "It would be a different scenario. If it's not in the car and I'm smelling it, it must be on him.”