Public defenders respond to Mosby on body camera footage

Officer accused of planting evidence in video
Posted at 10:42 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 07:20:54-04

Days after releasing a body camera clip of an officer allegedly planting evidence at a drug bust, the Baltimore Office of the Public Defender says all cases involving the officers in the video should have been suspended immediately.

"We've got clear evidence that officers are manipulating body camera footage. That's the biggest takeaway for us," says Debbie Katz Levi with the Office of the Public Defender. "What is the response going to be from the police department? What is the response going to be from the State's Attorney's Office?"

States Attorney Marylin Mosby says her office learned of the problem last week, two days before the case was set to go to trial.

RELATED: State's attorney's office reviewing 10 police body-cam videos in drug arrest

It's pulling and reviewing all of the cases involving the officers seen in the now famous body camera clip, but according to Mosby, it's a very careful process. She says there are about 100 cases where the officers play a role.

"I know that there's a need for immediate attention, but this is going to take time," she said.

She also says the Public Defenders Office had plenty of time to catch the moments that are now under investigation.

"The defense attorney in the case had the video for more than three months," Mosby said at a press conference Thursday, "I don't know when he reviewed it, but I can tell you that it was first brought to the attention of the assistant two days before trial at 11 o'clock at night. That very next day, he did something about it."

See also: New body camera footage not sitting well with Baltimore residents

Katz says the its ultimately the responsibility of the State Attorney to spot issues with body camera evidence.

"They have a duty beyond anyone else in the courtroom to seek and discover and disclose evidence in a timely fashion," she said. "In this case it's indicative of the fact that that's not happening on a regular basis in that office."

The State's Attorneys Office says it reviews between 150 and 318 pieces of body camera footage every day.