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 almost two weeks in the past confirmed one of many officers planting medicine when he did not understand his physique cam was recording. The Baltimore Police Division's physique cams, like many throughout the nation, seize footage 30 seconds earlier than an officer presses the document button. The footage was turned over to protection attorneys as a part of a drug prosecution—and that is when the misdeed was uncovered.
"We're dismissing these instances which relied solely on the credibility of those officers," Mosby informed a information convention Friday. She stated the dismissed instances, a few of which have already been prosecuted, concerned weapons and medicines. One other dozen instances will stand due to "unbiased corroborative proof," she stated.
As I've said earlier than, it's incumbent upon us as prosecutors to be the ministers of justice and to do what's proper within the pursuit of justice, over convictions, whereas concurrently prioritizing public security.
Mosby added that the authorities are more likely to dismiss many extra instances, they usually have reviewed a whole lot of physique cam movies. No less than one different is suspicious, she stated.
Police departments throughout the nation at the moment are embracing physique cams within the aftermath of high-profile shootings. Their said aim is to offer for higher public accountability and to guard officers from being falsely accused. However with any sort of know-how, physique and sprint cams are not any panacea. In Might, for instance, drug costs have been dropped towards a Colorado man after it was disclosed that an officer staged the discovery of drugs for his physique cam.
Final week, furthermore, physique cam footage prompted Colorado authorities in a unique case to pay a person $110,000 for being tased within the again. The American Civil Liberties Union stated the video was paramount to profitable the out-of-court settlement. However Aurora, Colorado officers stated the video confirmed that the officer did nothing mistaken. The authorities stated they settled "to avoid the cost of prolonged litigation."
In the meantime, one of many just lately dismissed Baltimore instances included the drug suspect who was the goal of the plant within the physique cam video. He had been jailed since January on a $50,000 bail he couldn't publish.
Itemizing picture by Mark Strozier / Flickr