Baltimore reviews cases of police accused of planting drugs
Jul. 20, 2017
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's top prosecutor announced a review Thursday of nearly 100 cases involving three officers who appear in a body camera video that allegedly shows evidence being fabricated.
Determining whether cases involving the officers under scrutiny can be brought to trial "is going to take time," Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.
The public defender's office released the video earlier this week. Taken during a drug arrest in January, it shows an officer placing a can in a trash-filled lot as two other officers look on, then activating the camera and returning to pick up the can and pulling out a plastic bag of white capsules. According to the Baltimore Sun, the body cameras automatically create a record of the previous 30 seconds when they are switched on.
After reviewing the video, prosecutors dismissed the entire case "in the interest of justice," Mosby's office said.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday that the officer accused of planting the evidence, which was used to charge a man with possessing and trying to distribute drugs, has had his police powers suspended. Two other officers shown in the video are on administrative duty.
Already this year, Baltimore prosecutors have dropped charges in dozens of cases that relied on the testimony of seven other police officers who were accused of robbing citizens, making false arrests and filing fraudulent overtime claims.
"I hope that the community can see that the actions we took, and are currently taking, are in the pursuit of justice, as well as to reinforce the public's trust in the criminal justice system," Mosby said at the news conference.