On Sunday night, police in Cartersville, GA—a suburb northwest of Atlanta—responded to a report of gunshots at a house party.
When they got there, they found less than an ounce of marijuana at the party. For some reason, they decided to arrest 70 party attendees and charge them with possession. Some are still being held in jail.
When officers arrived to the site of the party, just blocks from the apartment complex, they found several people both inside and outside the party. That’s when they found evidence leading to the drug investigation and arrests.
Police haven’t specified exactly what drugs they did or did not find at the party. “The investigation is currently ongoing and information will be released when available,” Mike Bettikofer, the police department’s spokesperson, told reporters.
Some attendees reported being treated roughly by police and in jail. From WSB:
During a sit-down interview...the attendees described being mistreated by officers. They claimed they were tied up with zip ties, threatened with tasers and hauled off to jail. Some of the men said they were locked up in cages.
Another attendee, a pregnant woman said she was verbally abused and mistreated in jail.
“I was throwing up water,” she said. “The whole saying ‘innocent until proven guilty’ went out the window. They told me I was an unfit person to have a baby.”
The house in question was hosting a “Christmas lingerie party,” and partygoers say the gunshots reported were actually fireworks. Readers were quick to point out that there were undeniable racial overtones in this case; most of the people arrested were black. Within Atlanta city limits, the partygoers would have likely gotten off with a $75 fine.