VIDEO: Officer Accused Of Planting Evidence Wasn’t Actually Planting Evidence, But It’s Not Good
Video Shows Baltimore Officer ‘Planting Drugs’ Had Found Drugs On Scene
Baltimore, MD – A Baltimore police officer is being accused of planting evidence after body camera footage was released which appears to show that very thing. However, the truth is much more complicated (video below.)
Allegations of planting evidence are as serious as it gets. Police work is based on integrity and upholding people’s civil rights, and planting evidence destroys both of those things.
In all of my years as a police officer, I have never so much as heard of any officer planting evidence. Doing so would require an officer to abandon all values and morality, and risk everything they have, in order to send a person to jail. The very thought of it is insane, but that’s what newly released body camera footage appears to show.
In the video from January 24, a Baltimore officer can be seen placing a container of drugs on the ground before walking out to the street and turning his body camera on. The officer appears unaware that the camera includes recordings of the past 30 seconds before the camera is activated.
With the body camera on, the officer walks over and “discovers” the drugs in the same container that he had just placed on the ground.
The video was discovered by a public defender who was reviewing the suspect’s case. After the video was discovered, all charges were dropped.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis held a press conference on Wednesday stating that the officer in the video has been suspended and stripped of all police powers while the other officers on scene had been placed on administrative assignments with no contact with the public while the investigation is underway.
The commissioner then laid out the circumstances of the event with full video footage from the incident, and things got more bizarre.
On January 24, the officers witnessed what appeared to be a drug transaction. As the buyer was leaving in his vehicle, officers stopped him and had him hand over the drugs; this was all recorded.
The buyer provided information on the seller and how he purchased the drugs. Officers then contacted the seller and arrested him, and the seller admitted to be in possession of “grass,” and “something else.” A search on video showed that he was found in possession of marijuana and a small amount of heroin.
Officers then went to the buy location to try to find where the drug stash was. Officers could be seen on video searching a yard and finding a drug stash.
The officers then turned off their body cameras off for five minutes and the final video shows the officer “discovering” the drugs that he had placed on the ground. Drugs which appear to be the same drugs found in the yard five minutes prior.
Based on the other video, we know that both the buyer and seller were found in actual possession of the drugs, and the seller admitted to possession of the drugs. Then when officers went to find the stash, they found the drugs that they were looking for before an officer reset the scene.
Rather than an officer planting drugs, it now appears that the officer re-staged the scene to fabricate the moment that the drugs were found in order to document it better on camera.
If that’s the case, then this is falsifying a report, and it’s not good. Officers cannot re-stage scenes and pass it off as an original.
David Rocah with the ACLU responded to the new information by stating, “So even if it’s true that they simply stages recreation of finding the drugs, these officers have not only destroyed their own credibility, they have single-handedly destroyed the credibility of every piece of video where BPD officers find contraband without a clear lead-in that negates the possibility of it being staged. That’s quite a day’s work.”
We won’t know for sure what all of the exact circumstances of this incident were until the department has completed its investigation, but we anticipate that quite a few criminal cases will get tossed as a result of this incident, and people will blame all police officers for this act.
What do you think about the footage from this incident? Do you think that all police officers will be blamed? We’d like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.
You can see the “planting” video below, or the full video press conference HERE.