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34 Cases To Be Dismissed After Bodycam Video Questions Whether Cop Planted Drugs

By D Drama | Published:

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POLICE CORRUPTION IN UNITED STATES

Maryland prosecutors have tossed 34 criminal cases and are re-examining dozens more in the aftermath of recent revelations that a Baltimore police officer accidentally recorded himself planting drugs in a trash-strewn alley.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said that, in all, 123 cases are under review in the wake of a scandal in which one officer has been suspended and two others put on administrative duty. Body cam footage revealed nearly two weeks ago showed one of the officers planting drugs when he didn’t realize his body cam was recording. The Baltimore Police Department’s body cams, like many across the nation, capture footage 30 seconds before an officer presses the record button. The footage was turned over to defense attorneys as part of a drug prosecution—and that’s when the misdeed was uncovered.

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“We are dismissing those cases which relied exclusively on the credibility of these officers,” Mosby told a news conference Friday. She said the dismissed cases, some of which have already been prosecuted, involved weapons and drugs. Another dozen cases will stand because of “independent corroborative evidence,” she said.

Police departments across the nation are now embracing body cams in the aftermath of high-profile shootings. Their stated goal is to provide for better public accountability and to protect officers from being falsely accused. But with any type of technology, body and dash cams are no panacea. In May, for example, drug charges were dropped against a Colorado man after it was disclosed that an officer staged the discovery of drugs for his body cam.

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