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Video Shows Tallahassee Police Officer Planting Evidence During DUI Arrest

Calvin Riley Sr.'s routine traffic stop becomes a legal nightmare. Video shows TPD Officer Oliver pouring out a sealed bottle of liquor and tossing it in Riley's passenger seat, before arresting him for a DUI.

// April 3, 2024,

1:49 pm

Updated:April 8, 2024

On a balmy May night in Tallahassee, what began as a routine traffic stop for Calvin Riley, driving his white Mercedes Benz on South Monroe, quickly descended into a legal nightmare. Allegations of evidence planting by the Tallahassee Police Department have thrown a spotlight on the thin line between law enforcement and law-breaking.

The police stop, initiated by a white 26-year-old recruit of the department, would zigzag several potential legal avenues for police to arrest Riley; ultimately, after planting evidence of an empty liquor bottle in Riley’s car, they would arrest him for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. Riley says He says the night ‘nearly ruined his life.’

‘RILEY’

Calvin Riley Sr., 56, who goes by Riley, grew up in Tallahassee’s South City apartment complex. He spent years with his mother in the Meadow’s Mobile Home Park in the late 80s.

In body-worn camera footage from the traffic stop, Riley wears his work clothes – a barber’s button-down with an electric razor on the back. His shirt says “RILEY” in large red embroidered letters.

Tallahassee Police Department Officer Kiersten Oliver approached behind his vehicle, turned on her lights, and pulled him over. At just 26 years old, Oliver is one of the new recruits to the Department under TPD’s Chief Lawrence Revell’s aggressive recruitment strategy. 

A group of uniformed Tallahassee Police Department officers sitting among attendees at a formal event inside a council chamber, with a speaker at the podium.
Officer Oliver (left) stands at City Hall before being sworn in as an officer by Revell, pictured middle.
Officer Oliver (left) stands at City Hall before being sworn in as an officer by Revell, pictured middle. | August 9th, 2021 | City of Tallahassee

After initially stopping Riley and getting his information, Oliver calls in backup and discusses the particulars with Officer Margaret Mueth who arrived at the scene. Oliver asks Mueth to contact Riley under the pretext of verifying his address to check if she thinks he is under the influence of something. “I feel like I’m getting some indications, I’m not really sure. I can’t really smell anything right now,” Oliver says to Mueth, indicating that her sense of smell was diminished. 

Oliver, in comments captured by her body-worn camera, tells Riley that he smells like marijuana. Oliver, who says he doesn’t smoke weed, took offense to Oliver’s comments. 

“You lie,” Riley says in the video.

A TPD officer stands by her patrol car at night, with the flashing blue lights reflecting on the road, as she observes a white vehicle ahead.
Officer Oliver approaches Calvin Riley's car before asking him to submit to a voluntary field sobriety test. | May 7th, 2023 | Officer Mueth's Body Camera | Tallahassee Police Department

Officers Craft A Plan

At various moments in the forty-four-minute-long body camera footage, Officer Oliver seems to go from charge to charge, looking for a way to arrest Riley. In Florida, officers have discretion whether to ticket or arrest someone driving with a suspended license for the first offense. If an individual commits a second offense, it is mandatory for the officers to take them into custody and make an arrest. Riley received a suspended license notification just weeks before the stop on March 7th.

Officers Mueth and Oliver discussed the interaction in Oliver’s car before approaching Riley again. Mueth testified that they formulated a plan: ask Riley to submit to a voluntary field sobriety test, and if he refused, they would exercise their voluntary discretion to arrest him for a first-time offense of driving with a suspended license. 

When officers asked Riley to perform a voluntary roadside sobriety test, Riley refused. 

They didn’t tell him the consequences for refusing the then-optional test.

Despite initial claims that Riley smelt like marijuana, by the time they had placed Riley in the back of Oliver’s patrol car, officers began to claim that Riley smelled like alcohol.

“Is there enough, like before that?” Oliver asks Mueth after placing Riley in the backseat of her squad car.

“There’s nothing we can do for the signal one portion of it? Because he refused?” Oliver asks Mueth, asking if they could charge him with a DUI. Mueth explains that the field sobriety test was voluntary at the time, so they couldn’t charge him for refusing the optional field sobriety test.

The two searched Riley’s car while he sat in the back of Oliver’s squad car. They didn’t find any marijuana.

Calvin Riley looks on from a squad car as a sealed liquor bottle in his car was poured on the road. They subsequently cited the liquor bottle as open and charged him with a DUI. | May 7th, 2023 | Officer Mueth's Body Camera | Tallahassee Police Department

‘There’s Vodka in his Seat’

“Oh, there’s vodka in his seat… vodka was found,” Officer Oliver notes to her body-worn camera. While they search Riley’s car, Officer Mueth’s body camera shows Oliver holding up the full bottle of cognac. Oliver also points to an insulated stainless steel tumbler-style cup in the center console, which Oliver claims “smelled like alcohol.” 

Riley says the cup contained Arizona Green Tea, which he says is his drink of choice. Body-worn camera footage shows additional Arizona Green Tea bottles in his backseat. 

A first-person view from a Tallahassee Police Department body camera showing the interior of a vehicle at night, focusing on the center console and passenger seat area.
Officer Oliver can be seen tossing the now-empty liquor bottle onto the floorboard of Riley’s passenger seat.
Officer Oliver can be seen tossing the now-empty liquor bottle onto the floorboard of Riley’s passenger seat.

Oliver Tosses The Empty Liquor Bottle in the Floorboard of Passenger Seat After Pouring It Out

Officer Mueth then returned to Officer Oliver’s car and returned to questioning Riley. As Riley sat detained in the back of Oliver’s car, this time, Mueth returned to the subject of marijuana. From this moment, the body-worn camera shows Officer Oliver pouring out a liquid onto the street outside Riley’s Mercedes. Oliver’s body camera recorded the sound of the liquor bottle being opened. After Oliver pours out the bottle, she tosses it onto the floorboard of the passenger side of Riley’s vehicle.

After Oliver poured the liquor out, she asked to move Riley from her patrol car to Mueth’s. This change made it possible for Mueth, not Oliver, to be responsible for writing the arrest report. It also allowed Oliver to avoid signing the report. If she had, she’d be signing a document she knew to be false. 

To move Riley to another patrol car, the two call in backup. Sergeant Brian Smith of the Tallahassee Police Department arrives, a stocky white officer, senior in rank and age to Mueth and Oliver. 

Police Turn off Body Cameras

After moving Riley without incident, the three officers huddled to discuss the case. “Did y’all search the car? Nothing in there?” Smith asks Mueth.

“No, well, ok, so, he had a bunch of alcohol stashed in there, but,” Mueth says.

“Nothing opened?” Smith asks. 

“Yeah, open,” Mueth says. “In his, like, Turvis, in the center console, he had a mixed drink, and then under his knee, he had like, um, a little bottle of vodka tucked away.”

After his arrest, Oliver suggests moving Riley’s car to the New Life United Methodist Church parking lot, which they were outside of, to avoid Riley having to pay to get his car out of a tow lot. “I would just let it be towed, because he has done nothing for us to try to…” Mueth says, trailing off. 

Riley told Our Tallahassee that between posting his $750 bond, legal fees, and missed work at the barbershop, he missed a car payment and then another, and he decided to forfeit his car back to the dealership.

“You still live?” Sergeant Smith asks, pointing at Officer Mueth’s body camera. He quickly looks away when he realizes she is. Just twenty seconds later, Mueth asked Oliver “Are you still on?”, Oliver shakes her head. The body camera footage ends.

The arrest report was written by Mueth, and signed by Mueth, Smith, and the booking officer. The report reads “a search of Riley’s vehicle uncovered a small bottle of vodka (approximately 5 fluid ounces) that was found open in a pocket on the driver’s seat cover.”

“I want to talk to my lawyer,” Riley says in the video.

The Court Case

The public defender representing Riley questioned Officer Oliver in a pretrial hearing held in late February. Oliver claimed she poured the liquid out because of Tallahassee Police Department Policy #42 which she said “prohibited impounding liquids as evidence.” 

It doesn’t. A review of all Tallahassee Police Department policies found no policy prohibiting the collection of liquids as evidence.

Officer Oliver has been deposed twice in the case. In her second deposition, public defender’s handed her a copy of TPD Policy #42. However, she was unable to locate any section that prohibited impounding liquids. Oliver stated “I don’t remember” at least sixteen times during her second deposition.

Riley stands outside his son’s house in Frenchtown.

Judge acknowledges Riley was improperly Mirandized

The public defenders office debated in a series of pre-trial motions that testimony and body camera evidence of the liquor bottle not be admitted as evidence in the trial. The State Attorney’s office objected.

“Officer Oliver had no ill intent behind this, had no reason to believe that it would exonerate the defendant,” said Assistant State Attorney Emma Hershey.

“It’s not just the dumping out of the alcohol. They destroyed the seal. The seal is important,” said Public Defender Desiree Goodfellow. “They said that the policy is for open containers,” Goodfellow said.

“But by destroying the seal, they made it inculpatory. They use the fact that that bottle was opened as evidence in the report. Officer Oliver said herself on the stand that, yes, an open alcohol bottle in the car is pretty big evidence for a DUI,” Goodfellow said.

Judge Jason Jones, a former prosecutor, is overseeing the case. In a recent pretrial motion, Jones ruled to strike body camera evidence that included statements made by Riley before he was Mirandized. Riley was detained in Oliver’s patrol car for over nine minutes before being informed of his Miranda rights while restrained in handcuffs. Jones didn’t honor a motion by the public defender’s office to strike evidence of the bottle of cognac.

“I heard what I thought was a seal being broken,” Judge Jones said. “And one of the officers testified that she thinks that that’s what she heard as well. That’s going to be up for the jury to decide what they think.” 

Riley’s jury trial begins on Friday, April 5th.

Update: We’re going to try to identify all other incidents where Oliver may have planted evidence in other DUI and drug arrests. The city charges around $30-$75 per arrest to obtain body camera records, if you’re able to, you can contribute to that fund here.

Riley now has a GoFundMe, you can contribute to directly help Riley to compensate him for the financial hardships he has endured from this saga, you can contribute to Riley directly here.

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74 Responses

  1. It seems like the liquid in the Tervis tumbler was way more important than what was in the sealed bottle. Did Riley provide a breath sample?

      1. He’s all of thee above,an evil Edomite just like those cops were and they’re all a hated nation of people by the Lord being that they’re descendants of Esau and they have no place in the Lord almighty’s Kingdom of Heaven

    1. Did you actually read the article? You’re lucky there’s no reading and comprehension test that needs to be passed in order to comment online. The rest of us suffer because of that, however.

    2. I’m with darrell b. And before anyone asks, yes, I read the article twice to ensure it says nothing about a breath sample either at the station or on roadside. A “field sobriety test” is not the same thing as blowing into the straw on the portable breathalyzer unit (that is inadmissible anyway).

    1. I totally agree. She just seems like a really bad cop. She was totally wrong and should be terminated with no chance of ever becoming a cop. Fire her ass and put her dumb ass in jail. Racist stupid ass cop.

    2. That’s damn skippy 💯! That’s why I’ll always say up until the day I die that there’s no such damn thing as a good cop,there’s not one single supposedly good cop that stopped the evil spineless female’s cop from doing her evil spineless actions;I’ve watched her entire deposition and it was totally despicable, I hope the trial will be televised on April 5th 2024,I will be watching it if it is

    3. I agree totally! EVERYBODY, including the judge who ruled to NOT to admit Officer Oliver’s testimony and the police cam video! INCREDIBLE INJUSTICE and sticking up for EACH OTHER! What a waste if Chief Revell really sent his OFFICERS out into TALLAHASSEE to create MAYHEM—not—to go after indisputable law breakers, but to BREAK YOUR “OWN” LAWS, MAKE THEM UP AS “GHOST” ARTICLES/POLICIES as Officer Oliver did(breaking a seal, clearly HEARD, of the bottle of liquor FOR EVIDENCE?!)….I’m extremely disappointed in these people and can FOREVER NOT TRUST THEM!!! What a let down, I will certainly give props to those men and women of law enforcement who are HONORABLE. Disgusting behavior and yeah, we “SEE” it!!!

  2. I’m having a hard time understanding how this title relates to what is told. Planting evidence is a very specific allegation.

    1. Then it’s a good thing the cop was caught planting evidence on the body camera footage, isn’t it? Did you even read the article?

      1. The worst part is he’s “having a hard time understanding”. It’s all summarized in the article, yet that’s still too difficult. What hope do we have in the face of such willful and confident ignorance?

      1. …And who ultimately reigns supreme over the police department? The city manager; hence, another disastrously mishandled situation due to mismanagement.

        It is long overdue to replace the city manager and do a nationwide search to restore Tallahassee’s credibility from the mismanagement and damage by the city manager, mayor, and their two accomplices, Richardson and William-Cox.

    2. It was planted Einstein once she broke the seal on the alcohol bottle and threw it back into the car and claimed that the seal on the alcohol bottle was already broken and had it written down in the police report

    3. The title is appropriate. The empty bottle of alcohol was not there before she arrived…she planted it.

    4. Arnold,
      Did you go to school to become stupid or were you just born that way? I mean, really, what is wrong with you⁉️

    1. I saw the deposition video of the female cop Kiersten Oliver and she stumbled all over herself and the trial starts tomorrow April 5th and I wholeheartedly hope that it’ll be televised on YouTube or anywhere else

    1. Her smirking testimony in his trial, in which she repeatedly says “I don’t remember,” says she’s still a cop. What a black eye for Tallahassee and law enforcement. Just a shameful, outrageous embarrassment.

    2. You know that she is because police departments tolerates these kinds of evil spineless actions by their criminal cop;this is why I’ll keep saying until the day I die that there’s no such thing as good cops;these cops turned their body cameras off when they huddled together;this should be real easy for an acquittal of Calvin Riley on April 5th 2024

  3. Then it’s a good thing the cop was caught planting evidence on the body camera footage, isn’t it, Arnold? I hope the jury at Mr. Riley’s trial are allowed to take this into account as the assistant state attorney did her best to have this vital evidence disregarded.

    1. The only reason why any fool including any judge would want to suppress this video showing the evil spineless female cop breaking the seal on that bottle of alcohol and then saying that she thought it was open already is obvious that they didn’t want the real truth to be revealed

  4. The whole department is correct. Starts at the top. They all need fired and sued. But hey, they are cops. One of those corrupt judges will have their back. The Feds need to step in.

  5. While taking the police officer’s exam, Kiersten Oliver answered “I don’t remember” to every question……and passed.

  6. The unfortunate thing is this specific and similar corruption currently happens in Tallahassee on a regular basis. (Amongst a plethora of other corruption). I’m so blessed to have moved up out of that city. I pray Mr. Riley comes out on top of this once it’s all settled and that law enforcement is held accountable for their collective and collaborate ongoing injustices.

    1. That’s damn skippy 💯! Including the supervisor who came there and allowed her and the rest of them to turn off their body cameras;I’d like to know what good are cops having body cameras if they have the ability to turn them off and on, and muted

  7. The fact that this was done by a recruit just goes to show you what they teach in the police academy. It’s like a gang where the recruit has to engage in illegal conduct to make a false arrest to break the rules. So now they know the recruit will do the dirty for the rest of her career.

    1. He was driving with a suspended license and that is illegal.

      I believe the officer needed more training and more supervision.

      There were some errors made here and hopefully they will be corrected.

      This is a good catch on exposing injustices and irregularities and leads to better accountability.

      1. So what you’re telling everybody is that she needs to be trained to never break the seals on alcohol bottles and throw them back into the car and write down on police reports that the seals on the alcohol bottles were already broken and then come to deposition and claim that she THOUGHT! The seal on the alcohol bottle was already broken,well let me tell you something cop bootliquor,one can build and train a boy or a girl to grow up and become a man or a woman but it’s impossible to try and rebuild a grown man or woman to be the man or woman that they should already know how to be,so training doesn’t have a damn thing to do with nothing,it just a 🤬ing cop out for their evil spineless actions

      2. The officer needed more training what an ignorant comment she new dam well when she broke the seal on that bottle and threw it on the passenger side of the car what she was doing was criminal and planting evidence you don’t need more training for that she needs to be fired and her criminal butt locked up…..

  8. This is absolutely unconscionable and unlawful. What is he still on trial for? Driving with a suspended license? That’s worthy of a trial? What a waste of his time and money, as well as that of the tax payers funding the justice system. They are literally letting a jury decide on a crime that didn’t occur for a defendant that is actually the victim.

    1. It’s because they’re still wrongfully holding him for the DUI charge even though the whole world saw the evil spineless female cop breaking the seal on the alcohol bottle and claimed that the seal was already broken;they’re practically saying that our eyes were lying to us

  9. This has to be handle by the FBI and the Feds. Crooked cops are the worst type of humans. PERIOD!!!

    1. And the thing about it is that they’re allowed to investigate themselves and always say that they’ve found to have done nothing wrong

  10. Any and all convictions, past or future are now compromised because of this one case!!! The first thing that’s taught in cop school is most likely how to lie!!! Some officers pass the test. These 3 did not.

  11. Either she’s lying about not remembering anything, or she’s experiencing some sort of brain damage that has rendered her memory too impaired to perform her duties, or planting evidence and framing innocent Black men is so commonplace for her that it didn’t leave an impression.

  12. That officer needs to be fired and held accountable! The fact the her actions as a WHITE woman (because race is important in this situation) has led to the ruining of a BLACK man’s life, and all she can say is “I don’t remember” is outrageous and insane. I hope the jury see this case for what it is and that racist cop reap her consequences.

    Sincerely,
    A CONCERNED BLACK CITIZEN

    1. The Bible is right about so many of these kinds of evil spineless spawns of Satan,they’re descendants of Esau(EDOMITES)who are a hated nation of people by the Lord and they have no place in the Lord almighty’s Kingdom of Heaven;Malachi 1:1-4

  13. So the man still has to go to trial? This should have been thrown out by now.
    That officer should be the one in jail.

    1. That’s damn skippy 💯! But inside these United Snakes 🐍 of America,that’s too damn much like being right

  14. I am in shock! It is so obvious that this is a bad cop. She has to be prejudiced either against people of color or all skin colors. The FBI needs to step in. ( Where is Crump?) Please know most people are not prejudiced. But something is wrong with that cop!

  15. You can CLEARLY hear her open the bottle and CLEARLY hear the sound of her pouring out the liquor. This is disgusting. ARREST HER NOW!!!!!!

  16. First, the video has clearly been edited. Second, it is highly prejudicial to post a story like this prior to the court hearing given that at least one or more jurors could see this story and video before hearing all the evidence and seeing all the police cam footage before edits were made.

    AI was definitely used to create this story and to do the video edits. This makes it highly suspicious and an obvious effort to influence jurors to bring back a not guilty verdict.

    The human behind the creation of the story also failed to obtain any comment from the police department regarding this footage and claim of planting or manipulating evidence. So this is a very one sided and unfair story. It breaks the basic rules of honest journalism and falls into the category of yellow journalism, which is so very prevalent in social media news items today.

    Stories like this lead to conspiracy theories and chaos. They do NOT result in justice for victims or in correcting bad or illegal behavior.

    1. truth reigns. human outward appearance does not. no human is capable of deceit who possess integrity, that’s telling the truth “when no human is looking”

      Nancy

  17. it’s my civic duty to be heard, especially when not given a mandatory notice for “jury” duty. thanks nc

  18. It’s obvious this guy is guilty…the cops are doing their job and doing what’s necessary to keep a drunk driver off the streets! Besides, he shouldn’t be driving on the streets since his license is suspended! Good on those cops!

    1. The video of the bad lady cop & her fellow conspirators involved in the planting of false evidence & their follow-up collusion should be shown on a TV screen right outside the courtroom or the courthouse during the trial. Play all the audio recordings on a loop as well. The public can see & hear what the corrupt courts won’t allow. Maybe a local TV station or MSNBC could set up their equipment & do this. Then interview members of the public with their reactions live.

    2. You are completely ignorant or you need to lay off that crack pipe.She clearly is a dirty cop and new damn well when she cracked open the bottle that you can clearly hear the seal being broken and show’s her pouring out the full bottle and then tossing it back in the car on the passenger side was criminal and planting evidence. Her a** needs to be fired and locked up. They also need to go back and look at her previous arrest record because certainly this wasn’t a one off criminal act. Just amazing just how ignorant and flat out dumb someone has to be to take the side of the police officers after literally watching and hearing a seal being broken and liquor being poured out and her planting it back in the car how despicable…..

    3. You are a completely ignorant clown or under the influence of something to have read this article and seen the body cam footage of these corrupt criminal cops and reply with the comment that these were good cops just doing their jobs keeping a drunk driver off the roads,and yes he was driving on a suspended license which if it was his first offense the standard practice was to let him off with a warning and worst just give him a ticket. But the elephant in the room was the fact that this was a black man and the officer’s were white can’t be ignored. Clearly you have an agenda and are morally bankrupt……

  19. Perhaps there needs to be a investigation as to the ratio of the arrests for DUI’s between skin colors. The last time I served on jury duty they were prosecuting a young black woman for a DUI. When they questioned the jurors on if anyone had been mistreated by the Leon County courts, I spoke up and said yes I had and explained the situation. That being said, I believe the other jurors listened and caught on quite quickly that whoever was going to be on that jury would be fair. I was not chosen to be on that jury, but the next day and the next few days I looked to see if the defendant had been arrested for a conviction for DUI. Apparently the jurors found her not guilty. When Leon County lets a sheriff go who was driving drunk and hit a car and ran and then they open a bottle of liquor to frame someone of color is unconscionable. I really don’t think that the video was altered, but if it was it needs to be exposed. I believe that the video wasn’t altered.

    1. The state attorney / TPD did not come to the table with clean hands. I thought the jury was fair to the point, but I thought the judge was unfair with the jail sentence.

      Did Evan Power and Sheriff Harvey get a 10-day Jail sentence?

      Will the TPD officer who mishandled and manufactured false evidence be reprimanded, fired, or prosecuted?

      Kudos to bringing this to light and exposing so citizens can watch the cover-up in real time.

      The city manager and state attorney need to to go.

  20. Ha ha! You libtards LOST this one. Drunken Driving is a CRIME period. What if this guy had killed someone. Well, you wouldn’t care. No to YOU all it’s just wacism and ACAB.

    1. Spider,

      CITY IF TALLAHASSEE HAS $3 MILLION DEFICIT.

      I don’t think exposing the officer and receiving over 2 million views is losing. It shows the current administration is deficient. The TPD response is only more evidence of the corrupt culture that exists. Ask the city manager if they have found the perpetrators of the recent $1 million cyber crime theft yet?

      The City of Tallahassee has a $3 million deficit; now with a cyber crime make it $4 million. This shows that the city manager is incompetent in so many areas. We are literally flooding in the incompetence that abounds by the city manager, (Mayor, Williams-Cox, and Curtis Richardson). I assume your name calling of “libtards” refers to them.

      The TPD Chief should be informing the public as what will be the ramifications of the officer’s mishandling of evidence and thanking those who exposed this mishandling to the public.

      When the mayor misuses his position at a 200th birthday celebration to endorse a political candidate, you know this egregious stunt shows an ineptness and corruption so far entrenched the damn has been breached. What city fiasco will be front page news tomorrow?

  21. Dadgum! He WAS guilty, without giving a breath sample or anything.

    I guess I will pack my bags and go back to Edom now ……..

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