By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore police officer took the stand Thursday to defend himself against charges that he fabricated evidence.

Officer Richard A. Pinheiro Jr. was indicted in January on charges of tampering with evidence and misconduct in office. His trial began Thursday.

Bodycam Footage Raises Questions For Police Department

The case stems from body camera footage that appears to show the officer discovering the drugs in an alley, prosecutors said in court Thursday he broke the law by staging the video, recreating the discovery.

At the time the June body camera was made public, then police Commissioner Kevin Davis stood by his officers in August of 2017.

“This one is not certainly not planting evidence,” Davis said.

Baltimore Officer Indicted For Tampering With Evidence; 3 Other Officers Cleared

The officer said Thursday when he first found the drugs last January he didn’t have his body camera on, so he put them back, hit record and re-enacted the search. Prosecutors say the problem is that he tried to pass it off as the real thing.

Thursday he testified he was trying to avoid getting in trouble for forgetting to turn on his body camera.

“There was no intent to deceive,” Pinheiro said.

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