BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More body camera video is sparking controversy in Baltimore. The video is of a traffic stop that has the Baltimore Police Department facing tough questions.
It’s the second time in two weeks the Public Defender’s Office has brought up suspicions that officers are planting evidence.
Baltimore PD commissioner Kevin Davis spoke about the video on Wednesday, and says he’s not taking immediate action against these officers, their duty status has not changed, and he’s not naming them while the investigation is still ongoing.
But he had no explanation for some of the things on the video that the public defender believes are suspicious.
“When you see something out of context, doubts are raised,” Davis said.
Davis says it’s too early to say whether this latest questionable body camera footage shows officers planting evidence.
“When there’s gaps in video footage, it’s ugly,” Davis said. “You know, what was there? I don’t know. I didn’t see it. The camera was on, now it’s off.”
The video from a traffic stop in November 2016 shows officers searching a car for drugs. They find nothing after half an hour, then turn off their cameras.
When they come back on, an officer is kneeling by the door for about 30 seconds – the cameras automatically record 30 seconds prior to when they are turned on.
Another officer comes in and immediately finds drugs.
Among the questions an internal affairs investigation aims to answer, why did the officers turn their cameras off? And what happened during that 30 minute gap?
The commissioners says the officers never explained it to supervisor at the time.
“Unless those police officers are physically gone from that scene, gone, in their car, and gone, the police officers must leave their cameras on,” Davis said.
The state’s attorney has dropped charges in this case and others. This is the second time in two weeks an officer has been under investigation for possibly planting evidence on camera.
“It’s definitely one of the situations where you can, uh, you know, the video kind of speaks for itself,” said defense attorney Joshua Insley.
Right now, Baltimore PD only has eight sworn officers and some interns reviewing all that body camera video, and they get thousands of hours of it each month.
Police gave no timetable on when they will complete their investigation into this latest video.