Tags: baltimore | evidence | planted

Baltimore Evidence Planted, Police Bodycam Video Shows

Image: Baltimore Evidence Planted, Police Bodycam Video Shows
A police officer holds can in bodycam video. (screengrab)

By    |   Friday, 21 Jul 2017 11:00 AM

Evidence planting by Baltimore police sprang a felony drug suspect after his public defender used video from an officer's body camera to prove the claim.

One officer has been suspended and two others placed on administrative duty in light of video released by the city's public defender's office, reported the Baltimore Sun.

The incident happened in January and a body camera apparently recorded it unaware to the officer who is seen putting a soup can containing a plastic bag in a lot littered with trash.

The officer walks to the street and apparently thinks he is flipping on his camera, then can be heard saying, "I'm going to check here," noted the Sun.

The video shows the officer returning to the area where he appears to pick up the same can, pulling out the plastic bag filled with white capsules, reported the Sun.

The Washington Post said the video led Baltimore prosecutors to drop the felony drug case against a suspect who had been in jail for nearly six months because he could not afford to make bail.

Debbie Katz Levi, head of Baltimore's public defender's special litigation section, told the Post that even if the officer claims he was re-creating his investigation for the camera, he should have said that in his charging document used to justify the arrest.

"We already have issues that place the credibility of officers into question," Levi told the Post. "Until Baltimore officers have earned the trust of the city, they should not be able to have the discretion to turn these cameras on and off."

The police department is under a federal consent decree because of a documented pattern of discriminatory and abusive practices, said the Post.

Melba Saunders, a spokeswoman for State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, said prosecutors had first made a plea offer of one count of a controlled dangerous substance in the case.

"Upon notification of this troubling footage, our office immediately implemented established protocols to not only refer this matter to the internal affairs division of the Baltimore Police Department but began identifying active cases involving these officers," Saunders said, per WBAL.

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Evidence planting by Baltimore police sprang a felony drug suspect after his public defender used video from an officer's body camera to prove the claim.
baltimore, evidence, planted
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2017-00-21
Friday, 21 Jul 2017 11:00 AM
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