BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s police commissioner says there is nothing questionable about an officer recorded on a body camera apparently re-enacting the discovery of drugs.
Police have released the latest body camera video that has led prosecutors to drop more than 50 criminal cases involving a group of officers.
Kevin Davis said at a news conference Thursday that he disagreed with state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision to drop charges in dozens of cases involving the officers seen in the video.
“It undermines public trust and it can have an impact on every single case we prosecute in Baltimore City,” Mosby said.
The video starts with officers chasing a drug suspect back in June in Southwest Baltimore.
Police said he dropped the drugs and later revealed where during a jailhouse call to a friend. The controversy began the next day when police went to look for the drugs.
One officer’s body camera was rolling continuously when a fellow officer picks up the packet. That officer realized his camera is off and puts the drugs back down, turned the camera on and picked them up again.
“It is not a reenactment. It’s not being re-staged,” Davis said. “We can probably sit here and wordsmith all afternoon, but this one is not planting evidence.”
The officer reported the case himself after media attention surrounding two other questionable body camera incidents.
The commissioner does not believe he should be vilified.
“Sports analogies in a crime fight aren’t necessarily always perfect analogies to make in my humble opinion, the decision to drop this particular case and to drop other cases was a bad call,” Davis said.
“We are not playing football here. This is not a question of trying to get away with something and hope that the referee doesn’t see it,” said chief deputy state’s attorney Michael Schatzow. “We have ethical obligations to call penalties on our own teammates.”
The state’s attorney office may now create a do-not-call list for officers they don’t trust.
The commissioner said he has discipline six officers for body camera infractions since the program has started
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