Baltimore Police Body Camera Scandal Leads To Dropped Charges

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 4, 2017

"But I do know that it's not healthy to jump to a conclusion that police officers did something criminal".

The officers turned their body cameras off and then back on at staggered times, Levi said.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday there was "no doubt" that illegal drugs were legitimately recovered in two criminal cases that were dropped by prosecutors amid questions surrounding officer body-camera footage.

"The good news is, a lot of these issues are coming to light so there's awareness and there's true accountability from the top down in the police department", Weinhold said.

In the video, officers are then seen finding drugs in that same vehicle.

Still, Collins said that it has shaken her faith in the Baltimore police, which she said is widespread throughout the city.

One officer who searched the auto can be heard voicing his frustration over the fact that he and fellow officers came up with nothing and that there'd be repercussions if they failed to find drugs and make an arrest, Debbie Katz Levi, head of the city public defender's Special Litigation Section, said.

One case involves the appearance of an officer mishandling or planting evidence. "That's a heavy allegation to make", Davis said.

Davis said that in the 14 months that the Police Department has had body-worn cameras, they have captured 121,000 hours of video. "Before we blanketly characterize their behavior as deceptive and or a credibility issue, we referred the matter to the Internal Affairs Division of the Baltimore Police Department".

The State's Attorney's Office said that it had dismissed or is set to dismiss 41 cases because of the first video, 55 are under review and 27 are considered viable cases to prosecute because of evidence beyond the officers' testimony. Neither officer has been identified. That's when the officers flip their body cams off and back on, after which one of them tells the other, "No, you weren't supposed to turn yours on".

When the video starts again, an officer who is apparently unaware he is being recorded is seen squatting by the driver's side of the auto, reports WBAL. "The group of officers then wait approximately 30 seconds".

Baltimore cops are suspected of planting evidence based on recent body camera videos. "Where?" Collins asked the officer during the arrest.

"Nobody responds, and the officer reaches in and locates a bag that appears to contain drugs right by where the prior officer was, and where the auto had been thoroughly searched about a half an hour prior with absolutely no results".

Saunders said in a statement.

One officer in that video has been suspended, and two others were placed on administrative duty amid an investigation, officials said.

Smith later suggested that the police may have recreated the drug discovery for the body cameras.

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