State's Attorney responds to internal BPD memo

Posted at 6:14 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 18:17:56-04

In the two and half hours of body worn camera footage, it is about 50 seconds that grabbed national headlines.

In the video, one officer kneels down under the steering column of a car followed almost immediately by another officer waiting for his body camera to power up, then he find drugs in the same spot.

The drug recovery looks suspicious but it seems to be fully explained in an internal Baltimore Police document ABC2 was first to obtain earlier this week.

RELATED: Internal documents shed light on Baltimore body camera scandal

In it, the officer involved wrote up the unique circumstances of the seizure and filed it with his department a full week before the video was released.

In addition to explaining how he found the bag after other officers turned their body cameras off and ended their search, the officer makes sure he notes that he spoke to his sergeant that night about the unique recovery and in April of this year, again discussed it with an assistant state's attorney charging this case.

He says “I called and spoke to Assistant State's Attorney Whitlock as well and explained the incident. A.S.A. Whitlock advised that after reviewing the footage, he was satisfied.”

Still, three months later the case was abruptly dismissed leading the officer to write in his memo that he was “unsure of the intentions of [Deputy State’s Attorney] Ms. Bledsoe or the public defender's office, I wanted to make my command and the department aware.”

The memo is dated July 25, three days before the Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby called a press conference and said, "Earlier this week it was brought to my attention that an additional video raised concerns for one of our prosecutors and with further review of the matter, we subsequently referred the matter to the internal affairs division of the Baltimore Police Department."

The state's attorney's office declined to respond to the memo or the timeline of when it knew about the body camera video on Tuesday but today offered comment saying in part, “One of our attorneys was troubled by suspicious police behavior on several body worn camera videos. When our attorneys are alarmed by troubling behavior of officers, they are instructed to refer the matter to leadership and we immediately refer those matters to Internal Affairs of the Baltimore Police Department. That has happened in both body worn camera incidents to date.”

Still, that statement leaves some questions for the attorney of the officer who wrote the memo.

Jeremy Eldridge said, “If the state's attorney's office was so troubled by the video, why did it wait three months before doing anything about it?”

Both the Office of the Baltimore State's Attorney and the Baltimore Police Department declined further comment today saying only that they will both wait for the outcome of the internal investigation.