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Baltimore Officer's Body Cam Video Creates Doubts About Drug Find

Defense attorneys argue recently released police body cam footage shows an officer planting drugs at a crime scene earlier this year.
Posted at 10:39 AM, Jul 20, 2017

A Baltimore police officer has been suspended after defense attorneys released a video, which they allege shows the officer planting drugs at a crime scene.

The Maryland public defender's office made the body camera footage public on Wednesday. Officials say it was taken during a drug arrest in January.

The beginning of the video seems to show an officer stuffing a plastic bag inside a red can in a trash-strewn alley while two other officers watch. This portion of the footage doesn't have any sound.

The Baltimore Sun notes police body cameras save 30 seconds of video without audio before they're activated.

The footage then shows the three officers walk toward the street. A few seconds later, the audio kicks in, indicating the camera has been switched on.

"I'm going to go check here," said the officer with the body camera.

In the video, the officer announces he's going to check the alley; he returns to the same spot and uncovers the same plastic bag from the beginning of the tape.

Police are investigating if the officer knowingly planted drugs in that alley or if he was trying to recreate the discovery when his body camera was running.

"It's certainly a possibility that we're looking into, to see if the officers, in fact, replaced drugs that they had already discovered in order to document their discovery with their body-worn cameras on," Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis told reporters.

This is just the latest controversy facing the already-troubled Baltimore Police Department.

The scrutiny started in 2015, when Freddie Gray died from injuries he sustained in police custody.

This year alone, police told CNN gun deaths there are up 21 percent over last year.