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Alleged police misconduct: Did a Baltimore officer plant drugs?

A Baltimore police officer has been accused of planting evidence at the scene of an arrest. The accusations come following police body camera footage that appears to show the officer throwing a bag of illegal drugs on the ground near where officers arrested a man on drug charges in January.

In the video, the officer turns on his body camera and walks into an alley, where he finds a small bag of white capsules. However, 30 seconds before the officer turns on his body camera, some footage remains -- due to the way Baltimore body cameras save their footage. In this footage, which doesn't have sound, the officer can be seen throwing a small baggie down on the ground, before he returns to collect it.

As a result of the body camera footage, the officer has been suspended from duty. Also, the charges brought against the alleged drug dealer -- specifically, felony possession of illicit drugs with intent to distribute -- have been dropped.

News outlets and the media have tried to contact the officer accused of planting the drugs, but he has not answered or returned their calls. Now, all of the cases that this officer was involved in could be subject to scrutiny by the courts. Could this officer have planted other false evidence in order to increase the chances of conviction?

Some observers suggest this case is an excellent example of police misconduct. It's also a good reason why those who have been accused of a crime -- no matter how strong the evidence appears to be against them -- deserve to have their day in court. A lot of new information could be revealed during trial that shows the defendant is innocent.

Source: The New York Times, "Video Appears to Show Baltimore Police Officer Planting Drugs," Jacey Fortin, July 19, 2017

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