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Baltimore Cops Caught Turning Off Body Cameras Before ‘Finding’ Drugs

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Baltimore is not unique among police departments for illegal behavior on the part of police, but it must be embarrassing to serve as a textbook case of planting evidence. Kelly Wilde reports for the Daily Beast:

Baltimore police spent 30 minutes searching a car for drugs but found nothing—until they turned off their body cameras.

When the cameras turned back on, one cop was seen squatting next to the driver’s side where another officer immediately found drugs.

Police arrested two people in the apparent drug bust. But police might have been betrayed by their own body cameras, the public defender’s office announced Monday. Apparently unbeknownst to the officers, the cameras were rolling when one officer squatted in front of the empty driver’s seat. Another officer “found” a bag of drugs there moments later. The footage is the second body camera video in two weeks to apparently show Baltimore Policeofficers planting drugs on an otherwise-innocent scene.

Two weeks ago, the public defender’s office released body camera footage that appeared to show an officer planting a bag of pills in an empty lot in January, while two other officers looked on. The footage prompted Baltimore prosecutors on Friday to drop 34 drug and weapons cases connected to the three officers captured on camera.

The newest footage, announced on Monday, comes from a separate incident involving at least seven other police officers. The footage, which has not been released to the public, is said to show officers conspiring to fudge their body camera records and plant drugs in a car, the public defender’s office said.

It was described to The Daily Beast on Tuesday.

“A series of body worn camera videos show multiple officers searching a car, including the front driver side area,” said public defender’s office spokesperson Melissa Rothstein. “After the car has been thoroughly searched, the officers turn off their body cameras and reactivate them. When the cameras come back on one officer is seen squatting by the driver’s seat area. The group of officers then wait approximately 30 seconds.”

Baltimore police use cameras that retain 30 seconds of silent footage prior to an officer pressing the record button. The silent period, known as a “buffer,” is supposed to show the moments before an officer flagged an incident as noteworthy.

“Shortly thereafter, another officer asks if the area by that compartment has been searched.  Nobody responds, and the officer reaches in and locates a bag that appears to contain drugs right by where the prior officer was, and where the car had been thoroughly searched about a half an hour prior with absolutely no results.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2017 at 12:50 pm

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