A woman is suing the Gwinnett County Police Department accusing an officer of planting a substance to arrest her on a cocaine charge.
Elizabeth Leigh Butler of Sugar Hill says Officer Paul Tremblay planted the substance on the floorboard of her car to “show off” for the cameras in an episode of “COPS,” according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
The substance later tested negative for cocaine, the paper said. Butler’s attorney, John Burdges, told Channel 2 Action News that there is unedited video, showing the officer going to the trunk of his car to get a second test kit.
The website for “COPS” says it is as an unscripted reality show that follows the activities of police officers by embedding camera crews with police units. According to the newspaper, the lawsuit also accuses the production company - Langley Productions - of wrongdoing.
A police spokeswoman declined to comment Friday, according to the newspaper. It was unclear whether the department had investigated Butler’s complaint, but Tremblay remains a senior officer, the paper said.
Tremblay arrested Butler outside Lawrenceville First United Methodist Church on Aug. 22, 2013, when she and a friend were talking inside a stopped vehicle.
The Daily Post obtained records showing the charges of loitering and possession of cocaine have been dropped.
On the television footage, Tremblay tells the “COPS” film crew that Butler’s tattoos — a marijuana leaf and a “Grateful Dead bear” — made him suspect her of being a drug user, the Daily Post reported.
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