PHOENIX (AP) — Three Phoenix police officers have resigned after allegedly forcing a driver to eat marijuana found in his vehicle to avoid going to jail, Chief Joseph Yahner said Thursday.

A fourth officer was demoted from lieutenant to sergeant for being aware of the incident and not taking appropriate action, Yahner told reporters.

“Their actions are appalling and unacceptable. This conduct is against everything that we stand for,” Yahner said.

The names of the four officers were not made public. Yahner said two of them remain under a criminal investigation.

Yahner said all of the officers’ video cameras were turned off and did not record the incident in which a 19-year-old Phoenix man was stopped for a traffic violation around 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 13.

The man, whose name was not released by police, was issued a citation and had his car towed.

He later told a patrol supervisor that the officers demanded that he eat a small amount of marijuana or be taken to jail.

Yahner called the allegations “disturbing and upsetting.”

The three officers who quit were all in their first year with Phoenix police, according to Yahner.

“I was going to fire them. They chose to resign,” he said.

Yahner declined to discuss details of the criminal and internal investigations.


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