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Phoenix police officers resign after being accused of forcing driver to eat marijuana

The three Phoenix officers who resigned are shown, from left to right: Jason E. McFadden, Michael J. Carnicle and Richard G. Pina. (Phoenix Police Department Photos)

PHOENIX — Three Phoenix police officers have resigned after allegedly forcing a driver to eat marijuana during a traffic stop, Chief Joe Yahner said Thursday.

“These actions are appalling, unacceptable and they are no longer members of our organization,” Yahner said of the officers.

Yahner said the unidentified 19-year-old driver told investigators that he was stopped by police for a traffic infraction about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 13 near McDowell Road and 43rd Avenue. Officers found about a gram of marijuana in his car.

The victim said the officers told him to eat the marijuana to avoid going to jail. He did so, was issued traffic citations and allowed to leave.

Two of the officers — Richard G. Pina and Jason E. McFadden — are being investigated both criminally and by the department. The third — Michael J. Carnicle — is the subject of just the administrative investigation.

The three officers had all been with the department for less than a year.

McFadden about 10 years with the Chicago Police Department prior to joining the Phoenix force.

A fourth officer, Lt. Jeff Farrior, who was told about the incident and attempted to delay the investigation was demoted to sergeant from lieutenant.

All of the officers were wearing body cameras. None of them were turned on.

Yahner said the officers resigned before he could fire them.

“As your police chief, I want you to know how appalled I was when I was informed about these allegations,” Yahner said in an earlier press release. “The conduct alleged by our resident is contrary to everything we stand for as community servants.”

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