Bodycam video appears to show Baltimore police officer planting evidence in drug bust, public defender says 

Posted: 3:35 pm Friday, July 21st, 2017

By Eric "Hollywood" Davis STAR 94.5

 

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Bodycam footage allegedly shows a Baltimore police officer tampering with evidence by planting what appears to be drugs, according to the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.

The video was taken on January 24 when three police officers were searching for drugs in a yard filled with debris, Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jason Johnson said in a press release Wednesday.

The footage purports to show one of the officers hiding a bag of drugs in a can and then later “finding” the drugs, while two other officers “look on and take no action,” the public defender’s office said in a press release.

 

During the press conference, Johnson showed reporters four separate videos, which he said “depict the incident in greater totality.” The first and second videos showed the traffic stop of the person who drove away, while the third video showed the man in the hooded sweatshirt, who police believe to be the drug dealer, being arrested at the convenience store. The fourth video showed the extensive search of the yard filled with debris.

The last video “sort of depicts what seems to be the discovery of a second bag of heroin, but in the early part of the video, it’s clear that that bag had actually been placed there by the police officer,” Johnson said.

“I think it’s fair to say the video purports to be the first discovery of that second bag containing heroin, but it’s clear that, in fact, is not the first discovery of that particular bag,” Johnson said. “And, of course, that’s the video that we have all seen.”

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said investigators are looking into the “possibility” that the officers “replaced drugs that they had already discovered in order to document their discovery with their body-worn cameras on.”

No conclusions have been reached, Davis said, calling the allegations made by the public defender’s office “as serious as it gets.”

“If people need to be held accountable, they will be held accountable,” Davis said.

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