The city of Baltimore has launched an investigation after body cam footage from a city police officer appearing to plant drugs at an arrest location.
The video, from a January arrest, is from the body camera of Baltimore Police Officer Richard Pinheiro, who is seen planting a bag of pills in a tin can while two other officers look on. The footage was evidence in a case that was scheduled for last week, but prosecutors wound up droping the case after being contacted by a public defender who was reviewing the footage in preparation for court.
Baltimore’s Office of the Public Defender is now demanding that dozens of cases, where Pinheiro and his two colleagues were the arresting officers, be dropped by the Prosecutor’s Office.
“The officers involved are still witnesses in other active cases that are currently being pursued for prosecution in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The officer whose camera shows him planting the drugs, Officer Richard Pinheiro, is a witness in approximately 53 active cases,” reads a statement released by the Office of the Public Defender. “The prosecutor claimed to be ‘appalled’ by the video and dropped the charges in that case, but no clear policy has been taken in other cases involving these officers.”