drug raids gone bad

This Philadelphia Daily News story describes a series of police raids on mom-and-pop stores, in which owners allege the cops disabled security cameras then took food, stole merchandise and confiscated cash: Drug raids gone bad.
The Daily News interviewed seven store owners and an attorney representing another. Independently, they told similar stories: Cujdik and fellow officers destroyed or cut the wires to surveillance cameras. Some store owners said they watched as officers took food and slurped energy drinks. Other store owners said cigarette cartons, batteries, cell phones and candy bars were missing after raids.

The officers also confiscated cash from the stores - a routine practice in Narcotics Field Unit raids - but didn't record the full amount on police property receipts, the shop owners allege.

In one case, the officers failed to document about $8,200, and in another, about $7,000, the store owners said.

In all eight cases, Cujdik applied for the search warrant and played a key role in the bust. The store owners were charged with possessing and delivering drug paraphernalia, specifically the tiny bags. In the cases that have been settled, judges sentenced the store owners to probation or less.

As for those broken surveillance cameras, officers have "no reason to cut camera wires or destroy cameras," said a high-ranking Philadelphia police official, who requested anonymity. "None whatsoever."

"It would look like they're trying to hide something," the official said. "It would look like they don't want to be on the surveillance camera themselves."
Among the store owners, Eunice and David Nam say Cujdik and his narcotics squad smashed surveillance cameras with a metal rod and forced the couple to the floor, cuffing them with plastic wrist ties. The police said they seized $2,573 in the raid. The Nams say they actually had between $3,800 and $4,000 in the store. It's like a bad crooked cop movie...

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