BPD officer indicted for turning off body camera, tampering with evidence

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 06:39:35-05

Officer Richard A. Pinheiro, Jr. was indicted by a Baltimore City Grand Jury on Tuesday.

The Grand Jury indicted Officer Pinheiro on the following charges:

  • Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence—Fabricate physical evidence to wit: body worn camera footage in order to impair the verity of the physical evidence with the intent to deceive
  •  Common Law Misconduct in Office—Commit a wrongful and improper act in the performance of his official duties.

This indictment stems from alleged questionable evidence gathering acts captured on Body Worn Camera footage on January, 24 2017.

“As State’s Attorney, I’ve made a pledge to apply one standard of justice for all. It's critical we remain transparent throughout the process to the extent the law allows as we continue to rebuild community trust,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in a statement.

“Yesterday’s indictment is another example of our office applying justice fairly and equally."

The video was taken during a drug arrest in January. It shows an officer placing a can in a trash-filled lot as two other officers look on, then activating the camera and returning to pick up the can and pulling out a plastic bag of white capsules.

TJ Smith also added that Baltimore Police was informed of the charges to the case today and the department has made changes to their Body Worn Camera policy.

"In short, officers must keep their cameras on from the beginning of an event until that event is over and they have left the scene to ensure that if any additional police actions take place they are captured on the cameras."

RELATED CONTENT: Marilyn Mosby Addresses Body-Camera video

The SAO declined to charge three Baltimore Police officers with a criminal offense related to a separate incident where their actions were captured on body-worn camera on June 17, 2017.