bombshell testimony from former detective Stephen Anderson, these units began fabricating drug charges against innocent people to make up the difference. Anderson cooperated with investigators after being caught planting cocaine on four men in a Queens bar in 2008. Seven other officers have been caught in similar acts, either while actually planting drugs (a practice known as "flaking") or pilfering them from evidence lockers. In 2011, some 300 drug cases have been tossed out, and the costs of settling false-arrest lawsuits have topped $1.2 million.
As you might guess, this story is far from finished, but yesterday, a small measure of justice was done, as Detective Jason Arbeeny of the Brooklyn South squad was convicted of planting cocaine on two innocent people in early 2007. Yet in all, this story is just a sad reminder of the abuses of power that are certain to occur if police are given wide latitude for prosecuting victimless crimes.