Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District by Peter Moskos.
An examination of the disconnect between patrol officers on the street and the Office of the State’s Attorney in its ivory towers yielded this bit:
One police officer described her observations of drug corner: “I saw a [white] suspect slow his car down [in an African American neighborhood]. Somebody approached the car. After a brief moment I saw a hand-to-hand [drug] transaction.” When the car pulled away, the officer stopped the car and told the driver what she saw. The driver consented to a search and the drugs were found. The man was arrested.
The liaison for the state’s attorney invalidated the arrest stating that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the car. The officer explained that she saw a drug transaction on a drug corner. The liaison asked the officer, “How do you know it was drugs? How do you know it wasn’t an Oreo cookie?” The officer, disgusted at the events, told me, “They sit here in the C.B.I.F. [the state’s attorney’s court liaison office at Central Booking] and tell me I don’t know a drug transaction? I’m sitting out there watching this damn thing for hours and make a good lockup. An Oreo cookie!? If only it were. Then at least I’d get something out of this. I could eat the damn cookie! As it is now, I’ve still got these damn drugs to submit.”