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Second Body Cam Video of Baltimore Police Planting Drugs Then “Finding” Them Has Surfaced

Baltimore Police Department Planting Drugs Video

For the second time in a matter of weeks, body camera footage has been released showing officers from the Baltimore Police Department planting drugs. In both videos, the planting of that evidence was exposed by a feature of the body cams that causes them to begin saving video thirty seconds prior to the point where they are manually activated. This video is from November 2016, while the earlier one dates from January of this year.

In this latest video to surface, police were conducting a traffic stop in which they were profiling drivers in an effort to make drug arrests. After claiming to have seen the passenger in Shamere Collins’ vehicle making a drug sale, the police stopped them. However, after a thorough search, no drugs were found anywhere in the car.

The body cam video of that initial search includes audio of one officer stating that there would be “negative consequences” if they didn’t find drugs and thereby couldn’t arrest someone. After that, the cops for no apparent reason all turned their body cameras off.

What followed, according to CBS News.com:

When the cameras come back on, an officer is seen squatting by the driver’s side of the suspect’s car, apparently unaware that he’s being recorded.

He then stands up and steps back. About 30 seconds pass, and another officer approaches the car, then squats down and pulls out a bag of drugs.

Although the charges were thrown out once the public defender representing her got ahold of this video, Collins and her boyfriend, who was the passenger were charged with possession of opiates and marijuana, as a result. According to Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, dozens more cases that involve this group of officers could also be thrown out.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis maintained that this is no reason for the public to “jump to conclusions” or make “heavy allegations” about police misconduct based on the video. Because concluding that something suspicious was going on after all the cops turned their cameras off right after one of them expressed concerns about getting in trouble if they didn’t find any drugs to justify an arrest, then video (that the cops didn’t expect to be recorded) showing one cop crouching next to the car, followed by body cam video (that they did expect to be recorded) of a different cop easily finding drugs in that same area after it had already been thoroughly searched is quite a jump.

Of course, this also comes on the heals of the previously released video (embedded below), which is even more damning. In that video, Officer Richard Pinheiro can be clearly seen putting a bag inside a can on a pile of debris in an alley. He then walks back out to the street, accompanied by two other officers who have not been named.

After activating the camera, he proceeds to walk back down the alley as one of the unnamed officers can be heard laughing behind him. Miraculously, he manages to quickly zero in on the can shortly after searching through the debris pile. He then pulls out the bag that he unwittingly recorded himself planting to reveal that it is filled with pills.

The man who was arrested as a result spent over seven months in jail awaiting trial before this video was made public and his charges were thrown out. So far, thirty-four other cases have also been thrown out and as many as fifty-five more could be, as well. Officer Pinheiro was (only) suspended for his actions, while the two other officers that watched (and laughed) as he planted evidence have received no punishment at all.

Not Isolated Incidents

These incidents don’t represent the only times that the Baltimore police have been under scrutiny for manufacturing evidence and manipulating body cameras. In March, all seven members of an “elite task force” that targets illegal weapons and drug crimes were indicted on racketeering charges for robberies that included completely innocent people of cash and filing false paperwork to get paid for overtime they didn’t actually work. In the process, they also falsified search warrants to justify detentions and traffic stops against their intended targets. As they were performing these “shake downs,” officers were known to have turned off their body cameras.

Nor is this the first confirmed instance of body camera footage being falsified to show police finding evidence against suspects. In May of this year, charges were dropped against a man in Colorado after a cop in Pueblo admitted he staged a video of himself  finding heroin and a gun in his car. In that case, Officer Seth Jensen claimed that he was merely “reenacting” his legitimate discovery of the evidence.

An “Unintended Consequence” of Transparency?

Given all of that, it’s rather interesting that in the CBS News video embedded below (beginning at about 3:45) correspondent Jeff Pegues characterizes the issue as a “downside of video transparency” and an “unintended consequence” of police wearing body cameras. Apparently, on his planet these type of incidents aren’t an argument for increased scrutiny and transparency, but rather a problem for “police departments that have to defend themselves against this type of policing.”

Obviously, I can’t see any reason we shouldn’t just trust these cops and accept their word. It would be crazy if cops didn’t have the ability to freely plant evidence without being detected and police departments had no incentive to eliminate “this type of policing.” That freedom to just arrest whoever they want and make up a reason undoubtedly would make their tough jobs so much easier.

Watch him throw it into the floorboards

BPD Officer Richard Pinheiro planting drugs

CBS News coverage of  the latest incident:

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“Decoy” Protest Held at Mall of America; Two Terminals Shut Down at Minneapolis St. Paul Airport

The anticipated protest at the Mall of America in Minneapolis went forward today in spite of a restraining order against it. MOA management had sued eight individuals involved with the Black Lives Matter movement in Minneapolis in an effort to stop the protests. That lawsuit included the demand that they post on social media sites and send out text messages stating that the protest was cancelled. Failing to do so would result in jail time. (It wasn’t really clear whether adding “wink, wink” at the end would violate that ruling.)

Ultimately, three of the eight were legally barred from MOA property by the court. The request for them to send out messages telling others not to come was ruled unconstitutional by the judge presiding over the case.

Regardless of that, protesters showed up in large numbers at the mall to protest the shooting of Jamar Clark. Reportedly, as many as twenty people were arrested and many businesses closed during the protest, which has been dubbed #BlackXmas on social media, rather than deal with the disruption. However, the bigger twist was that #BlackLivesMatter Minneapolis declared that the publicized protest at the Mall of America was really just a decoy.

Via CBS News:

Hundreds of protesters left the nation’s largest mall shortly after a rally began Wednesday afternoon, chanting for justice for a black man recently shot by Minneapolis police.

Stores closed their gates, kiosks were covered and even Santa left his sleigh at massive suburban Minneapolis mall shortly before protesters gathered Wednesday afternoon, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. They abruptly walked outside while chanting, “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”

Police quickly closed the mall’s main entrances and urged onlookers out of the mall’s central rotunda, threatening arrest.

Organizers said the rally was intended to draw attention to the police shooting last month of Jamar Clark. The 24-year-old black man died the day after he was shot by Minneapolis police responding to a recent assault complaint.

Instead many of the protesters left the mall within a short amount of time and boarded trains or buses headed to the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, as well as Highway 5 and other roads near the airport. Two of the security checkpoints at the airport were reportedly closed for about an hour and half.

Via CBS Minnesota:

Protesters with Black Lives Matter only briefly gathered at the Mall of America Wednesday afternoon before boarding light rail trains and heading to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in an attempt to “shut it down.”

There, groups of protesters gathered at both terminals around 2 p.m., blocking traffic on Highway 5 and the roads into both terminals. Not long after, the State Patrol ordered the protesters to disperse. An airport spokesman told the Associated Press several people were ultimately arrested in the protest.

Still, traffic into the state’s main airport was at a virtual standstill the day before Christmas Eve, and a backup persisted into the afternoon. Terminal 2 checkpoints for Southwest and Sun Country airlines were temporarily closed to prevent protesters from gaining access to the secure areas of the busy airport. They were reopened at around 3:30 p.m.

Random arrests happening at MSP Airport. Like this one – he clearly did NOT touch the policewoman but was instead assaulted. Today, the only danger at the MOA, the light rail & the airports were hundreds of agitated & armed riot cops escalating, arresting & mercilessly punching peaceful protesters.#BlackLivesMatter #Justice4Jamar #BlackXmas(video: bengarvin)

Posted by Jigme Ugen on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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