Baltimore Police release body camera footage from third 'questionable' incident

Davis: Dismissing cases doesn't help fight crime
Posted at 12:22 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 17:23:43-04

Baltimore Police held a press conference Thursday after a third police body camera video showed questionable activity by officers.

The latest video is from an incident that happened on June 14. The state's attorney's office says that unlike the other two incidents, this video was not in the possession of the SAO, but was self-reported. 

RELATED: New body camera footage not sitting well with Baltimore residents

So far, Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby has dismissed 43 of she said were 101 cases involving officers on questionable body worn camera footage. It's a decision Commissioner Davis says is questionable in it of itself.

"I firmly disagree with this decision," he said. "I will not be a bystander when my police officers are doing what I, and their commanders, expect them to do in this crime fight."

RELATED: Third body-worn camera video found regarding questionable activity with Baltimore Police

In the video, police pursue a suspect. He trips and falls, but once cuffed he was brought to his feet and questioned. The suspect then took off again. The officers later arrest him on an outstanding warrant.

Later in jail, and on a recorded line, police listened to him tell his friend where he could find the stash he dropped when he ran from officers the second time. 

The next day, police used that information and headed back to the scene to recover the pack.

"This is the officers searching the area," Chief T.J. Smith narrates. "The officer has his body worn camera activated. The officer who is recovering it is right here searching the general area. He finds the packet. He sees there are drugs inside the packet and at this point recognizes his camera is not on, activates the camera and recovers the drugs."

Police say the officer was simply documenting where he found the packet. This was no recreation and the officer was not planting evidence and at least one body camera was rolling the whole time to prove it.

Dropping this case and others involving the officers, simply hurts the crime fighting, Davis said. 

"Take this guy to trial, take this guy to trial and there is no doubt in my mind that a reasonable jury would see this just as you all it and I wish I could sit down in every living room in Baltimore to explain this and have this conversation," Davis said.

Following the police department's press conference, Mosby released the following statement,

“Respecting the integrity of the evidence gathering process is essential to the prosecution of all cases; therefore, re-enacting the discovery and seizure of evidence cannot be the face of policing in Baltimore City. The moment an officer decides to re-enact both the discovery and seizure of evidence and excludes this re-enactment in the statement of probable cause, it undermines public trust and creates indefensible doubts in the minds of the general public, judges and jurors.

We are working hard to gain the trust and confidence of the public and incidents like this make it harder. The BPD is an indispensable partner and I am committed to working with the Commissioner as he continues to reform the Department.”