Body camera footage featuring what is an alleged act of evidence by the police has Baltimore’s cops in the spotlight once again.
Baltimore’s Fox45 shared video of an officer appearing to plant drugs in an alley as two fellow cops watch on. The public defender’s office identified the alleged evidence planter as Officer Richard Pinheiro. Investigations are currently underway in relation to the POV video evidence and the city’s police seem to understand the the severity of what the body camera footage means.
“This is a serious allegation of police misconduct,” says Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “There is nothing that deteriorates the trust of any community more than thinking for one second that police officers … would plant evidence of crimes on citizens.”
NBC News reports that one of the officers in the video has been suspended and two other cops are on what’s described as “nonpublic contact administrative duty.” Baltimore Assistant Public Defender Deborah Levi released a statement following the video’s arrival urging real responses to these sorts of events.
“Officer misconduct has been a pervasive issue at the Baltimore Police Department, which is exacerbated by the lack of accountability.” said Levi. “We have long supported the use of police body cameras to help identify police misconduct, but such footage is meaningless if prosecutors continue to rely on these officers, especially if they do so without disclosing their bad acts.”
How Baltimore’s police service handles its investigation going forward is destined to be analyzed.