Police video undercuts Antonio Callaway’s weed excuse

AP

The latest episode of Hard Knocks contains plenty of interaction between team officials and rookie receiver Antonio Callaway regarding Callaway’s recent citation for marijuana possession. But the most important interaction happens early in the episode, when Callaway is pulled over by police.

“Antonio,” the officer says in the portion of the video generated in connection with the stop, “I do smell a little bit of weed in the car. Were you smoking earlier or anything like that?”

Callaway then trots out the “my car just got shipped up here” defense, a far more specific (and somewhat less implausible) version of “the weed wasn’t mine.” But here’s the flaw in his argument, one that isn’t addressed at all during a Hard Knocks episode that focuses on whether Callaway tells the team the truth about not knowing that marijuana was in the car: If the police officer smelled it, Callaway should have smelled it, too.

Unlike tobacco, marijuana has a distinct, pervasive odor (or so they say). Callaway, barring an olfactory deficiency, would have smelled it from inside the car, especially if the officer smelled it from outside the car.

And let’s rewind to the moment the car arrived from Florida. The moment Callaway opened the door for the first time, that dank, skunky, nasty smell would have smacked him in the face (or so they say).

The episode includes coach Hue Jackson on multiple occasions making it clear that he believes Callaway, but that “if I’m wrong on this one, I’m gonna have your ass.”

“I think he’s telling me the truth,” Jackson says. “He knows if he’s lying to me, then I’m done. . . . Everybody gets one Mulligan. And it better be a Mulligan when you’re telling the f–king truth. If it’s not, then I’m done with you.”

The editing of the episode doesn’t make it entirely clear whether the truth on which Jackson relies is that it wasn’t Callaway’s weed or that Callaway didn’t know the weed was in the car. Regardless, if he’s lying as to the latter point (and, again, unless he’s hard of smelling, he is), he’s lying as to the former point.

That said, who cares if Callaway was smoking weed? The NFL shouldn’t. The problem for Callaway is that the NFL does, and that the deeper issue here isn’t weed but trust. Based on the reality that there’s no way he didn’t know weed was in the car, the team’s current trust in him may be misplaced.

60 responses to “Police video undercuts Antonio Callaway’s weed excuse

  1. I want nothing but the best for the Browns and their fans, God knows they deserve it, but they passed on Wentz to get this guy and then end up trading him for a 7th round pick.

    Jesus.

  2. There is no flaw in his defense. If his brother smoked heavily in the car the weed smell lingers in a car for weeks roach or no roach.

    So yes he might have smelled it and didnt see anything at first glance so sorry that’s just trying to twist his words.

    That being said its pretty likely it was his and nobody should be that nieve to think it wasnt.

  3. joetoronto says:
    August 15, 2018 at 7:58 am
    I want nothing but the best for the Browns and their fans, God knows they deserve it, but they passed on Wentz to get this guy and then end up trading him for a 7th round pick.
    Jesus.

    What? Wrong guy man.

  4. One flaw in the argument of this post: someone who has smoked a lot of marijuana could become “nose blind” to that particular smell, just as a car can have a terrible (and impossible to miss) dog smell that the owner doesn’t notice. It’s perfectly reasonable that a nose blind person could miss an otherwise strong smell while in the car that a police officer could detect while standing outside of it (with a window open).

  5. Need to get your Browns WR’s right !

    Former 1st round pick Corey Coleman was traded to the Bills for a 7th rounder – that’s the player you’re thinking of.

    Antonio Callaway is an idiot and a 4th round rookie. Why Jackson is giving him this chance is a joke, hope the NFL steps in.

  6. joetoronto says:
    August 15, 2018 at 7:58 am
    I want nothing but the best for the Browns and their fans, God knows they deserve it, but they passed on Wentz to get this guy and then end up trading him for a 7th round pick.

    Jesus.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You do realize this isn’t an article on Corey Coleman?

  7. Just to put it out there, I’ve never been able to pick up the smell of weed, burnt or unburnt. I mean, putting a jar right up to my nose, sure, I smell the aroma, sometimes strongly. But I have been in zero situations in my life where I knew there was weed in a room without seeing it or someone telling me. Also, cops abuse the hell out of “I smell marijuana” as an excuse to search your car, police are wicked shady.

  8. Hue Jackson’s comments on this mess once again reflect his utter incompetence. How did this guy ever become a head coach in the NFL? And why on earth is he still coaching the Browns?

  9. Anosmia (the medical term for a loss of sense of smell) is probably more common in pro football players that the general populace, to be fair, because it can be caused by head trauma and broken noses, which are much more common in people who take part in contact sports than football.Plus, temporary anosmia caused by colds, other infections or hayfever is pretty common, especially considering that some of the medications used to treat such conditions are known to induce anosmia as well. That’s not to say I buy his excuse (the most likely explanation is that he’s an idiot – he was driving with a suspended license, after all), but it’s more plausible than you’d think.

  10. joetoronto says:
    August 15, 2018 at 7:58 am
    I want nothing but the best for the Browns and their fans, God knows they deserve it, but they passed on Wentz to get this guy and then end up trading him for a 7th round pick.

    Jesus.

    ————————————————————————————-

    ummmm Callaway wasn’t traded…

  11. Not really flawed at all. Mike, you’re assuming he didn’t smell it. Just not much you can do about it when you car is shipped from Florida. Just hope it eventually dissipates. I’m sure he didn’t expect to get stopped by the police. It’s not illegal to have the odor of marijauna. He told the officer his brother smokes it. He didn’t know there was residue under the seat.

  12. factschecker says:
    August 15, 2018 at 8:21 am
    The prosecution could go with the classic “Whoever smelt it, dealt it” argument.
    ***********
    Admittedly I am not an Attorney but my legal advice to everyone is this: If a Cop ever says he smells weed in your car, simply say: “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.” Then tell the Cop they’re under arrest for selling drugs.

  13. Hugh Jackson is a joke. His record says he’s a joke and his fake tough guy act is a bigger joke. The Browns made some good off season moves but keeping this guy around wasn’t one of them.

  14. livenbreathefootball says:
    August 15, 2018 at 8:41 am
    Cops use the “I smell marijuana” excuse ALL the time to justify a search of the car. It’s because it can’t be proved later there wasn’t a smell of marijuana.
    *************
    It’s also because the car smells like weed. Weed smell lingers big time, even if the driver thinks it doesn’t. People who smoke weed slowly get desensitized to the odor and don’t realize how obvious it is to others. It’s like asking a drunk person if they smell like alcohol, or asking a pig farmer if they smell like pig crap. Let’s not forget the obvious that the Cop found weed after saying “it smells like weed”.

  15. Let’s see. Suspended a couple of times in college, eventually kicked out of college for a credit card scam, diluted sample at combine when he knew it was coming. Driving around at 3 am, making illegal turns on a suspended license. Why would anyone believe him? The facts are in, he is as dumb as a bag of hammers.

  16. joetoronto says:
    August 15, 2018 at 7:58 am
    I want nothing but the best for the Browns and their fans, God knows they deserve it, but they passed on Wentz to get this guy and then end up trading him for a 7th round pick..
    —————————–
    Browns traded the #2 pick of 2016 (and a conditional 5th rd pick) to the Eagles in return for FIVE Eagles picks: 1st, 3rd and 4th rd of 2016, 1st rd of 2017, and 2nd rd of 2018. Given that Wentz had a few good games before going down to a major ACL (plus LCL, plus IT) injury from which we don’t know how well he’ll recover (and maybe never an effective scrambler again), those 5 picks might yet end up the better long term bargain. The Browns expected RG3 to be their starter that season, but he and in fact all their QBs that year were injury-affected. They are cursed by both bad luck and bad management. It’s like Giles said in the very last line of Buffy the Vampire Salyer’s final series: “there’s another Hell Mouth in Cleveland”.

  17. I don’t see how that undercuts his argument. Especially since if you watch the full video the cops talking amongst themselves came to the same conclusion over the fact that he himself didn’t smell like it but his car did.

    The smell comes from the thing actually being smoked, not from it just existing. If he knows his brother smokes and he knows his brother had the car then why would he be surprised that his car smells like someone was smoking in it? The problem was his mindset that as long as he can pass a drug test he’s cool since it’s going over his head to stop giving people reasons to drug test him to have to pass.

  18. I am still trying to figure out how Pot is a performance enhancement, unless you consider the medicinal value of pain and inflammation reduction. Why is this natural plant still illegal should really be the question, unless you can’t think for yourself and just repeat what you heard.

  19. mean, putting a jar right up to my nose, sure, I smell the aroma, sometimes strongly. But I have been in zero situations in my life where I knew there was weed in a room without seeing it or someone telling me…you mean that the beaucoup amount of air freshener that I bought in the 60’s thru the 90’s was for naught?

  20. skins716 says:
    August 15, 2018 at 8:10 am
    I really don’t know why these guys choose weed over making millions of dollars.

    ———–

    And the pot heads tell us the stuff is not addictive….

  21. weed is illegal in the NFL, your employer;

    unless you’re working undercover for the ACLU, why on Earth would you put yourself in a position to be anywhere near it?

    maybe they should stop giving intelligence tests at the Combine in favour of a common sense test;

    1. Your friend or relation smokes weed..would you a) loan him your car, or b) get in the car again after loaning it to him without a thorough inspection and professional cleaning and detailing?

    2. You cannot detect the smell of weed..have you a) been around it so long your sense of smell is numb to it, or b) been using it so long you have lapsed into carelessness?

    3. You are pulled over by police for any reason..do you a) answer any of their questions directly beyond identifying yourself, b) offer any information with or without prompting, or c) ask immediately for a lawyer?

    4. You are a rookie yet already on your third strike in your profession that can garner you millions of dollars in a very short time..do you a) draw media attention to yourself by becoming embroiled in any kind of legal controversy to prove how you’ve been unfairly singled out and persecuted, or b) fly low as possible under the media radar since everyone has a smartphone that videos, until your contract has matured to guarantee you some compensation?

    there’s a Wonderlic test for you…

  22. The scent of marijuana is no different than any other scent. Those that are/have been around it often will become desensitized to it. It’s very likely a pot head wouldn’t smell anything in a car reeking of weed and for someone who has never been around it to say “what’s that smell?”

  23. It’s weed people. I am not sure this deserved this length of a post. If he lied to Hue and Dorsey, there will be consequences. And he likely will have consequences from the league as well. This is a non-story in my book.

  24. I agree that the NFL should give up on the whole marijuana thing…..it’ll be legal everywhere soon enough. However, you still cant be smoking it if you’re going to be driving (I know he wasnt charged but just sayin).

  25. nhpats says:
    August 15, 2018 at 9:51 am
    skins716 says:
    August 15, 2018 at 8:10 am
    I really don’t know why these guys choose weed over making millions of dollars.

    ———–

    And the pot heads tell us the stuff is not addictive….

    —-

    Just because someone smokes a lot of pot doesn’t mean it is addictive, or more importantly, that they are actually addicted to it. Some people just find things fun, or calming, or soothing, etc, and so they do it. If you run marathons frequently, you are not addicted to marathons, you are enjoying it.

  26. To be fair, “I smell weed” is a pretty standard line for LEOs to try to search a vehicle with cause, whether or not they actually do.

    And Hue Jackson talking about one mulligan after all of the chances that org has given Josh Gordon, or that Gregg Williams is his defensive coordinator, it’s just too much. Hard Knocks is making me wonder how he has kept his job with his record.

  27. Reminds me a rental car I got in Seattle once. Danky!

    We didn’t want to bother heading back to the airport….miss lunch or be late for any meetings.

    Windows down & she aired out. Thankful didn’t walk into the meetings with the scent.

  28. Reading that article in its entirety I see a lot of smoke to believe there are not any fires. Somehow I think this is just an ifiot that keeps screweing up so if he dodges this bullet there will just be another one. No matter how well he looks in camp the Browns need to consider the wisdom of staking too much on him in lieu of another player that just works hard with his head down while looking less likely to take himself off the table one of these days.

  29. I’m ok with the whole “who cares if he smokes weed” thing. I agree completely….unless he is operating a motor vehicle. That’s where I personally draw the line on “who cares”. I care if other drivers on smoking weed. I care plenty.

  30. I call BS! I smoke it every day and have since I was a teen. Guess what? I can smell it before during and after. Just a lame excuse that just doesn’t ring true.

  31. Police don’t use “I smell weed” to search your car. You’re allowed to search into “reachable areas”. That’s in response to areas where a weapon can be held. So you can look in the glove box, under the seat etc. No search warrant needed, just reasonable suspicion. As in the smell or if you see movement. You just have them step out an do it. You explain it later, no need to tell them.

    Personally, I didn’t want to arrest anyone for that, so I just walked away. Or if they were jerks, you gave them an option to walk away or be taken away. Contrary to popular belief, not all weed smokers are all mellow. Some are still idiots.

    If you give them a summons (ticket) your name is in their pocket if they crash. You don’t want that, so it was always option time.

    Dog owners can smell their dogs, just not as strong as others. You can smell weed as you approach a vehicle. A lot closer if alcohol. I’m sure there will be blood test results so that’s all the matters. He said, she said is a waste of time.

    Maybe the cop was lying and Calloway was telling the truth but anyone who wants to find a roach to make an arrest needs to get a hobby or works in an a place where they don’t have real crime. Make him lock the car and walk home or phone a friend. It’s not a Felony so you can use discretion. But we’re all different.

    As per shipping a car: I shipped one from Florida to NY and it didn’t smell any different than the day I sent it.

  32. Charles Territo says:

    I call BS! I smoke it every day and have since I was a teen.
    ================================================

    Damn, dude. No telling what your lungs look like. Grow up.

  33. The problem is who can trust Callaway. He went lower in the draft because of off-field issues and it seems like they are continuing to happen. Lying to coaches is not a good idea, especially given his past. But then again, the Browns suck so it’s not like they can cut someone who might help them win a game this year. I’ll be surprised if Callaway makes it through the year without being suspended.

  34. What I don’t understand is why he’s not drug tested immediately. The team and the NFL have cause to see if he’s smoking. It’s a public matter that weed was involved and the test results will tell if he’s lying or not.

  35. toddm6d says:
    Murica’ – Where Freedom is an illusion. Now shut up and stand for “your” country.

    –Typical silly statement made by people who have never been to places where Freedom really is an illusion.

  36. We can agree to disagree, or agree that it’s person-to-person as to the strength and detectability of bud and smoke. I can’t disagree that Callaway is an idiot. I didn’t know until I watched the episode last night that he didn’t even tell the team about the incident. I mean, you didn’t think that was going to get out, bro? Like within 24 hours? And it was written all over his face, Haley called him on it in practice. This guy makes Gronk look like a Rhodes Scholar.

  37. I must be missing something. If my car was shipped here and it smelled dank I’d know it and if a cop said he could smell a little bit of a dank smell I’d agree with him and say yeah it was shipped that way. I’m not saying he’s telling the truth. I’m just saying it’s not a fatal flaw as an excuse.

  38. Cops are trained to say that so they can fabricate probable cause for search. I’m sure he also wrote blood shot glossy eyes. He didn’t smell alcohol and pulled him over for nonsense. It’s the appitomy of racial profiling.

  39. Given that the traffic stop was a fishing expedition from the get-go, it’s no surprise the officer suddenly noticed something amiss. Hundreds of videos are available online of police fabricating evidence to support their agenda. Why is it easier to assume Callaway is lying to Jackson than it is to say the cop is making up stuff to support his interests?

    And then people wonder why there are anthem protests going on in the NFL….

  40. since when do we believe police officer footage? guy pulls a gun on a cop and the footage is bogus, cop calls a guy on his BS weed story and the footage is legit?????

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