Video footage of a cop appearing to plant drug evidence at a crime scene has led to the dismissal of dozens of other criminal cases in Baltimore.
Last month, a body camera video surfaced in the media, showing a police officer putting a bag with pills into a can and then covering it up with debris as two other officers watched.
Baltimore’s State Attorney’s Office has also launched an investigation into the specific video along with over a hundred other cases involving one of the three officers.
By August 2, state attorneys dismissed 41 cases involving drug-related felonies and weapon possession that would have relied solely on testimony from one of the three officers. The New York Times reports that 27 cases have been allowed to go forward while 55 others are still under review.
According to the New York Times, police officers’ body cameras include footage 30 seconds before the officer hits the record button — a fact of which the officers may not have been aware at the time.
“The credibility of those officers has now been directly called into question,” Baltimore’s state attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said at a news conference last week.
While Baltimore’s police commissioner Kevin Davis said the footage was “as serious as it gets,” the police department also said that they were also looking into whether officers found the bag earlier and tried to reenact how it happened for the camera.
“This is kind of a learning and a trial period, right?” Mosby said at the conference. “All of the body-worn cameras haven’t even been implemented, and I think that we’re going to go through growing pains.”
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