10/21/2013 12:03 pm ET Updated Oct 21, 2013

Love Olatunjiojo Lawsuit Says NYPD Mistook Jolly Ranchers For Meth Rocks


Hard candy shouldn't get you hard time.

A New York City man arrested for allegedly possessing meth rocks claims he was actually just carrying some Jolly Ranchers in his pocket, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week and obtained by The Smoking Gun.

Love Olatunjiojo was 25 in June, when he and another man were stopped by NYPD officers who found "crystalline rocks of solid material" -- four blue and two red -- according to a police report. He was charged with drug possession and spent 24 hours in jail.

Olatunjiojo says the "rocks" were nothing more than Jolly Rancher candies, which were still in their wrappers. According to the lawsuit, the sweets ultimately tested negative for controlled substances, and charges against Olatunjiojo and his friend were dropped.

The complaint against the police contends that officers violated Olatunjiojo's constitutional right to unreasonable search and seizure. Olatunjiojo experienced "emotional trauma and suffering" as a result of his false arrest and imprisonment, the suit says.

This is far from the first time the actions of NYPD officers have been accused of civil rights violations.

Between July 2011 and June 2012, the City of New York shelled out $22.8 million to settle various civil rights lawsuits. In one case, the city paid a 12-year-old girl $115,000, because police arrested her for doodling on her school desk. In another, a petty thief got $150,000 after officers smashed his head through a windshield while he was handcuffed.

Also in 2012, former NYPD cop Michael Daragjati, who was called a racist by his own attorney, was sentenced to nearly five years in prison for an extortion scheme and for arresting a black Staten Island man on fabricated charges.



Police Brutality Incidents