Baltimore Public Defender Says Viral Body Cam Video Shows an Officer Planting Drugs

(Photo: Police Activity via Youtube)

Baltimore Public Defender Says Viral Body Cam Video Shows an Officer Planting Drugs

Charges were dropped against Tyrone Jones, who was in jail since January.

Published July 19, 2017

The Baltimore Police Department is investigating one of their officers after a public defender alleged that footage from a body camera shows the cop planting drugs.  

According to the Baltimore Sun, the footage, taken in January, is from a drug arrest. The officer’s body camera records 30 seconds without audio before the officer engages the camera to function. Once the officer hits record, the camera picks up audio.

In the footage, an officer appears to be placing something in a trash lot, walking out to the street, turning on his camera, then walking back and finding the drugs.  

“I’m gonna go check here,” the officer says as he picks up the white capsules he allegedly dumped.

The public defender’s office identified the officer as Officer Richard Pinheiro.

A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department gave a statement speaking to the nature of the video.

“We take allegations like this very seriously and that’s why we launched an internal investigation into the accusations,” said Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith. “We are fortunate to have body-worn cameras which provide a perspective of the event.”

According to the public defender’s office, the video was recently flagged which led to the charges against the man arrested and charged for the drugs to be dropped by prosecutors. The unidentified suspect had been in jail since January on a $50,000 bail he was unable to pay, according to attorney Deborah Levi.

Melba Saunders, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney's Office, said prosecutors are looking into the video, which she called “troubling.”

Saunders said the prosecutor on the case “took immediate and appropriate actions by dropping the case and alerting his supervisor.”

“Currently this case is under investigation and has been referred to internal affairs of the Baltimore Police Department,” Saunders said.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Police Activity via Youtube)


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