BALTIMORE — Video from a police officer’s body camera appears to show investigators planting drugs.
In the video published by the Baltimore Sun, there is no audio for the first 30 seconds. (Police cameras have a feature that saves the 30 seconds of video prior to activation, but without audio, according to the Sun.)
In the video, you can see three officers standing by a pile of trash and an officer wearing what looks like a blue hooded sweatshirt is holding a plastic bag.
The officer in the blue hoodie walks away, and is joined on the sidewalk by the other two officers.
The first officer appears to touch his body camera and it begins recording audio in addition to video.
“I’m gonna go check here,” he can be heard saying.
The officer walks back to the pile of trash and picks up a few items before pulling a plastic bag out of a soup can.
The bag appears to contain white pills or capsules.
“Yo,” the officer can be heard saying.
Footage shows officer placing drugs in trash; goes out to street, turns on camera, returns. Cams save 30 sec prior to activation, w/o sound pic.twitter.com/5ZW128lWFM
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) July 19, 2017
According to the Sun, the footage was captured during a drug arrest in January.
“The public defender’s office flagged the video recently, prompting prosecutors to drop charges against the man arrested and charged for the drugs,” the paper reported. “He had been in jail since January on a $50,000 bail he was unable to pay.”
Prosecutors immediately dropped the case and the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office is investigating the video, according to the Sun. The police department has reportedly also launched an internal investigation.
Crime reporter Justin Fenton said it’s not clear whether the drugs were planted there, as the public defender asserts, or if the officers were recreating the drug discovery for the cameras, but said the video shows officers are aware of how to manipulate bodycams.