RadioOnFire.com - After body camera video came to light showing police possibly planting drug evidence disrupted dozens of open drug and firearm cases, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis is reminding officers about policies for their body-worn cameras.
In a letter, he reminded the officers that cameras are to be turned on at the start of a call for service or investigative activity (like a crime scene or a traffic stop) and not turned off until the officer leaves the scene.
Three officers are off the streets after video showed one apparently planting drug evidence, going out to a street to meet with two other officers, then pressing the record button on his camera before proceeding to unearth the drugs he had just placed at the scene in south Baltimore. When an officer presses record, the previous 30 seconds are captured without sound. A public defender noticed the issue with the body camera footage and alerted prosecutors.
Police suggested the possibility the officer could have been trying to re-enact the bag's discovery, but the incident remains under investigation, and at least 34 cases the officers were tied to have been dismissed.
"In the event your body worn camera is not activated during the recovery of evidence, under no circumstances shall you attempt to recreate the recovery of evidence after re-activating your body worn camera," Davis wrote, saying that if officers need to turn off their camera during an incident, such as to protect the identity of a witness, they must explain the reasoning on camera.