A man in Cartersville, Georgia, is looking for answers after he says police mistook his garden of okra for marijuana.
Dwayne Perry was reportedly woken up on Wednesday morning by the sound of a police helicopter above his home. Officers were waiting for Perry at his door to search his home for drugs after the helicopter spotted what they believed to be marijuana plants growing in his backyard.
“I was scared actually, at first, because I didn't know what was happening,” said Perry. “They were strapped to the gills.”
The helicopter, as it turns out, was part of the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression, and its purpose was to search areas for domestic cannabis plants. What the helicopter thought was marijuana, however, turned out to be okra.
“Instead, it's okra and maybe a bush on the end of the house,” said Perry.
“We've not been able to identify it as of yet. But it did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant,” said Georgia State Patrol Capt. Kermit Stokes. “If we disturbed them in any manner, that's not our intent. Our intent is to go out and do our job and do it to the best of our ability.”
Authorities have since apologized for their mistake, but Perry says that it should never have happened to begin with.
“Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing,” Perry said. “Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain't right. The more I thought about it, what could have happened? Anything could have happened.”