BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the third time in two months, the Baltimore Police Department says one of their own may have manipulated body camera video.
The latest incident dates back to June.
Police aren’t sharing the most recent video, but say it shows an officer re-enacting an evidence seizure.
As with the other previous cases, the Baltimore State’s Attorney Office says it will have to comb through every criminal case that officer has touched
after possibly damaging body camera video surfaced.
It’s a problem on repeat. Another Baltimore officer accidentally hits record on questionable policing.
Documenting a possible breach of departmental policy.
“It’s a self reported video,” said Baltimore Police Department spokesperson T.J. Smith. “An officer says, ‘Hey, I just want to bring your attention to this.’ The state’s attorney makes the decision on whether they’re going to go forward with cases as a result.”
Currently, officers in three separate, but similar incidents, are under investigation for appearing to plant or tamper with evidence, or at the very least, appearing to not follow procedure by turning body camera off while making a bust.
Monday, the state’s attorney’s office said there are 101 cases impacted by the latest body camera mess up. Making 565 cases total now touched by these lapses in recording.
Marilyn Mosby wrote the following to WJZ:
“Whether planting evidence, re-enacting the seizure of evidence, or prematurely turning off the department issued body-worn camera, those actions misrepresent the truth and undermine public trust.”
“I won’t be surprised if we’re not having this conversation again in the future,” Smith said. “I think out of an abundance of caution, officers are going to come forward and say, just, FYI. And, we shouldn’t allow that to cloud everything.”
Department policy mandates recording, unless it’s unsafe, impossible, or impractical.
One of the few exceptions allowing officers to turn body cameras off is if recording would risk the safety of an informant or undercover officer, and the rules say cameras should stay on until an encounter is done.
The state’s attorneys office says the video came to them earlier this month. They’re now reviewing the officer’s involvement in more than 100 cases.
All three body-worn camera incidents are also under investigation by Baltimore PD’s Internal Affairs.