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Baltimore officers plant evidence, destroy dozens of cases

A drug case may rest entirely on the testimony of the officers involved in the bust — which is why a smart defense attorney is going to question just how trustworthy those officers really are.

There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests juries have good reason to be skeptical.

For example, Baltimore prosecutors were recently obliged to drop several dozen cases because of credibility issues with the arresting officers. Apparently, none of the officers quite understood how their new body cameras actually worked, which allowed those cameras to capture some spectacular footage as a result — footage that showed one officer planting drug evidence at a crime scene while two others silently watched.

The defendants in over a hundred felony drug and gun cases have now benefited as a result. While around 30 of those cases have ultimately been cleared to continue because additional evidence supports a possible conviction, many others have already been dismissed.

As serious as this sounds, it isn’t the only time it’s happened. Another incident caught on film involved two other officers searching a vehicle for drugs. When they didn’t find any, they placed some in the car and then “found” them in a second search.

The sobering reality is that these are hardly isolated events. While many officers are genuinely decent people who would never dream of planting evidence, investigations have found that officers who get caught red-handed doing everything from planting evidence to soliciting sex can end up right back on the job — whether their bosses or co-workers want them back or not.

While the news often focuses on police brutality, police dishonesty is an equally serious problem. Officers who plant evidence and lie to make arrests and secure convictions steal the freedom and lives of their victims.

Thanks to widespread news reports and investigations, the average individual is becoming more aware of police corruption all the time. If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, from simple possession to trafficking, tell your attorney if the officer planted the evidence. It may be possible to look into the officer’s history on the force and weaken his or her credibility factor with the jury — or evidence may surface that supports your case.

Source: www.journal-news.com, “Baltimore Drops Dozens of Cases After Video Casts Doubt on Officers,” Jacey Fortin, Aug. 02, 2017

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