Police were called to a house party in Cartersville, Georgia, on Sunday after someone reported hearing gunshots. When police showed up, they discovered a lingerie-themed 21st birthday party, and they turned it into a huge police bust.
Nearly 70 people were arrested and charged with possession of less than an ounce marijuana. Most had to spend their New Year’s Eve behind bars, and their parents were not pleased. One told WXIA-TV that if this happened in Atlanta, everyone involved would have received a $75 fine instead.
Those gunshots turned out to be just fireworks, according to partygoers. A press release from the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, however, claimed that upon arrival, police discovered and confiscated a semi-automatic handgun. Police also allegedly saw marijuana in plain sight, which led to the massive drug investigation.
Because the marijuana was visible and "within everyone’s reach,” police said they decided to arrest approximately 66 people, who ranged in age from 15 to 31.
Several of the people who were arrested are speaking out, claiming mistreatment from police. The NAACP announced it will be investigating the Bartow County Law Enforcement in light of the party bust.
Racquel McGee of the Fulton County Public Defender's Office stated, “A good majority of these individuals are college students and members of the US military who were visiting home over the holiday break... Others were working citizens who lost their jobs the second they walked into work this morning.”
Cartersville Police said they were merely following drug investigation procedure.
“This current policy is now under review for any further drug investigations,” they stated in a press release.
McGee has set up a GoFundMe page to assist the defendants with bail and legal costs.
The house party was held at an Airbnb, which was rented out for the event. An invitation for the party stated that Jell-O shots and “strip twister” would be part of the party fun, according to WXIA.
[Photo: Bartow County Jail]