BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two major developments in the investigation into seven city police officers accused of illegal shakedowns and searches and major overtime fraud. Tonight there is revealing new body camera video of them at work.
WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren has the just-released video of those officers.
Charges have been dismissed for a suspect whose case was investigated by some of the Baltimore Police Department officers recently indicted for corruption.
Albert Brown says his encounter with them happened at a north Baltimore BP gas station as he was getting air in his tires. These officers have been accused of shaking people down and illegal searches of their homes.
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. To have to go through what I went through,” says Albert Brown.
Brown recounts to WJZ how he was pulled over by four of the now indicted Baltimore City cops.
“You can see the cocaine up in the visor,” says one officer on the body cam video.
He claims they planted drugs and a gun in his minivan before confiscating his driver’s license and keys, then rushing to do an illegal search of his house.
“They went to my house, searched my house. Ransacked my house,” says Brown.
“We also got it on the bodycam video. Are you going to continue to lie to me?” says an officer to Brown, seen on body cam footage.
Brown says they lied to him about having it on body camera, only now once the office dismissed the case. Brown says he lost his job because of the charges against him.
Police say they found no evidence the drugs and gun were planted.
“You had no seatbelt. It’s on camera. I told you when I approached the car,” says an officer to Brown.
But the officer’s body camera was turned off at the beginning of the arrest in violation of policy. Brown’s attorney places blame on City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for continuing to pursue the case until the officers were under federal indictment.
“She failed the citizens as a safeguard to protect them from this type of behavior,” says Ivan Bates, Brown’s attorney.
“When I saw the body camera footage with my client, it was beyond disturbing.”
The State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City released the following statement:
“Charges against Albert Brown were dismissed solely based on the fact that the four BPD witness officers in this case are part of the recent federal indictment. We investigated all of the allegations about the officers made by the defense with the cooperation of BPD and the defense’s private investigator, and found nothing to substantiate the claims.”
Mosby’s office says the only reason charges were dropped against Brown was the federal indictment. Brown isn’t buying that.
“I’m just happy it’s over with and I can try to move on with my life and put it back together<” says Brown.
The body camera in that video is worn by Detective Danny Hersal. Detective Hersl’s brother spoke to WJZ last night and says the charges are bogus and politically motivated. WJZ learned the commander of the gun unit has been demoted after this scandal.
Federal prosecutors accuse seven officers of stealing from people while on the job and billing the city for thousands of dollars in fake overtime