This post is used as source material for Prof. Blankenship’s courses.
Officer Theandra “T” Bose was proud to be a law enforcement officer in the State of Ohio. She was the first person in her family to graduate college and the first person to have a job with benefits. Officer Bose was proud of her accomplishments and she was also lonely. Working a full-time job and being a full-time college student didn’t leave a lot of time for friends, family, or socializing at all.
Officer Bose’s Police Department had adopted the Code of Ethics of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After three years of experience, other Department policies allowed her to accept private security contract(s) for payment provided that it did not interfere with her scheduled work hours. She was still the lowest rank in her department and so she was in the lowest pay scale. Officer Bose’s first private security job was at a wedding. She needed the money.
Right before Officer Bose started with the Department, all but 10% of the senior officers retired in response to a new program implemented by the Department (in cooperation with the State Retirement Fund) to reduce costs. Even though the measure did reduce costs, inexperienced officers, like Office Bose, were often left with little guidance and had to figure things out for themselves.
Officer Bose worked the hours required to satisfy her private security contract without incident. Most of the wedding guests had left and as she was leaving, one of the guests invited her to stay for a post-wedding party. Officer Bose stayed for the post-wedding party. It was actually nicer than the wedding reception. The DJ moved to a small banquet room, two open bars were waiting and the food service was really good (better than the cucumber sandwiches at the wedding reception).
A guest ask Officer Bose if they could touch her badge. “Sure,” she said. “After all,” she thought, “the Department is always asking us to do things to help our public image.”
“Wow, your badge is heavier than I thought it would be,” the guest said. Then the guest started showing the badge to other guests and letting them feel how heavy it was.
At some point, Office Bose noticed a small group of people in the back with a powder that looked like cocaine. She looked around and found the person who invited her to the post-wedding party.
“Hey, is that what I think it is?” Office Bose asked.
In response, the guest offered Officer Bose a rolled-up dollar bill.
It took Officer Bose 30-45 minutes to track down her badge and leave.
After the party, a video circulated via TikTok of the wedding party showing a man holding a police badge. Text on the video suggested that “one or more people at the residence had sniffed cocaine off the back side” of Bose’s badge.
An internal investigation ensued against Officer Bose.
In Ohio, Cocaine is a Schedule II drug. Its possession, promotion, sale, distribution, manufacturing, and /or trafficking is a felony. Specifically, Ohio law provides that:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance ( § 2925.11(C)(4) ORC)
- Cocaine possession is a felony of the fifth degree in Ohio. If the defendant was found to have five grams of cocaine or more, it is a fourth-degree felony. Between 10 and 20 grams is a third-degree felony. Between 20 and 27 grams is a second-degree felony. Between 27 and 100 grams is a first-degree felony.
- Trafficking and Selling Drugs ( § 2925.03 ORC)
- Trafficking in cocaine is a felony of the fifth degree. If the offense was done in front of children or close to a school, or within 5 to 10 grams, it is a fourth-degree felony. Between 10 and 20 grams is a third-degree felony. Between 20 and 27 is a second-degree felony, and between 27 and 100 is a felony of the first-degree.
- Illegal Manufacture of Drugs ( § 2925.04 ORC)
- Illegally manufacturing a drug listed in Schedule II is a felony of the second degree in Ohio. The charge is increased to a felony of the first degree if it occurred in front of a juvenile or within the vicinity of a school.