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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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Video of Massachusetts Detective Threatening to Kill; Plant Drugs on Teens Released (Update)

Last month, I blogged about the case of a Springfield, MA detective who threatened to beat and murder two teens. In addition, Detective Gregg Bigda stated that he would plant drugs on their bodies, in order to justify his actions. As point out in that first article, Det. Bigda has a history of misconduct and violent behavior, as well.

From that original post:

The threat to crush their skulls and then place cocaine in their pocket took place during an interrogation and was recorded by a video surveillance camera. The video has not been released publicly, supposedly to protect the identity of the teens he threatened to violently kill.

In spite of being caught red handed issuing these threats, Det. Bigda is not being charged with a crime, nor will he even be fired from the police department and forced to go work for a different department in another area of the state. Instead, he just received a suspension and will be back on the streets protecting and serving the shit out of the citizens of Springfield in 60 short days.

The two teens and another teen were accused of stealing an unmarked police car that another detective had left idling (and probably illegally parked) outside a pizza shop. As they were being arrested for that offense, an unnamed Springfield police officer kicked one of the teens in the face after he was already handcuffed and lying on the ground. There’s no indication that this officer received  any punishment at all for his assault on a defenseless teenager.

Now that video has been released by The Republican a Springfield area newspaper. And according to a post at Photography Is Not a Crime, they are as bad, if not worse than advertised:

During the videos, Detective Gregg Bigda makes a number of threats against the teens — neither of whom had an attorney or legal guardian present, or were read their rights.

The interrogations were conducted at the Palmer Police Station. Bigda tells both teens that he is eventually taking them back to the Springfield Police Station, which he stresses does not have cameras.

In the first video, he tells a 16-year-old boy in a red shirt: “See that camera up there? It don’t fucking exist [at the Springfield Police Station]. So anything happens to you at my place never happened. If I don’t write it in my report, it never happened.”

He later tells the teen: “You know I’m gonna beat the fuck out of you when you get back to Springfield right now, ’cause you just lied to my face … When we get back, I’m gonna tune you the fuck up, because you just lied to me. And I’m telling you in advance, and I’m being nice to you.”

In the second video, a teen wearing a gray-shirt says that his face hurts. Bigda responds: “You think it hurts now? You know where we’re going after this? We’re going back to fucking Springfield.”

He then explains how the Springfield Police Station doesn’t have cameras. He makes another threat to injure the teen’s face later in the video, even telling him it will require a trip to the hospital.

The threats continue: “I could fucking crush your skull and fucking get away with it.” Bigda then threatens to “fucking bring the dog back, let him fucking go after ya.”

And: “Don’t even fucking speak if you’re gonna lie to me, ’cause I’ll fucking kill you in the parking lot.”

And: “I’ll charge you with killing Kennedy and fucking make it stick … I’m not hampered by the fucking truth, ’cause I don’t give a fuck … I’ll stick a fucking kilo of coke in your pocket and put you away for fucking 15 years.”

In the third video, Bigda threatens the red-shirted teen again: [W]hen we get back to Springfield — I’m not even waiting for Springfield. When we get that fucking lying, I’m gonna bloody your body.”

In all three videos, Detective Luke Cournoyer is with Bigda and does not seem bothered by his threats and coercive interrogation techniques.

BTW, Det Bigda even had the nerve to complain about the measly 60 day suspension he received as “punishment” for his actions on those videos.

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Massachusetts Detective Caught on Video Threatening to Kill Teens & Plant Drugs on Them (Just) Suspended 60 Days

Detective Gregg Bigda, of the Springfield (MA) Police Department’s narcotics unit, threatened to murder two teens and then plant drugs on them to justify it. The threat to crush their skulls and then place cocaine in their pocket took place during an interrogation and was recorded by a video surveillance camera. The video has not been released publicly, supposedly to protect the identity of the teens he threatened to violently kill.

In spite of being caught red handed issuing these threats, Det. Bigda is not being charged with a crime, nor will he even be fired from the police department and forced to go work for a different department in another area of the state. Instead, he just received a suspension and will be back on the streets protecting and serving the shit out of the citizens of Springfield in 60 short days.

The two teens and another teen were accused of stealing an unmarked police car that another detective had left idling (and probably illegally parked) outside a pizza shop. As they were being arrested for that offense, an unnamed Springfield police officer kicked one of the teens in the face after he was already handcuffed and lying on the ground. There’s no indication that this officer received  any punishment at all for his assault on a defenseless teenager.

Via WAMC.org, a Massachusetts public radio affiliate:

A video of the interrogation, during which Bigda reportedly threatened to crush the skull of one of the teens and  plant a kilo of cocaine in his pocket, was provided to defense attorneys who are now using it to impeach Bigda’s credibility in pending drug cases.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he supports the commissioner’s decision to suspend Bigda because of the likelihood firing him would not survive a civil service appeal and the city would be ordered to rehire the cop with back pay.

” I am not happy about it. This is what was recommended,” Sarno said. ” It is a most severe suspension of 60 working days without pay and retraining.”

Barbieri told The Republican newspaper that Bigda will be reassigned to uniform duty on a day shift when his suspension ends.

Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst, joined by four of his colleagues at a news conference, complained the punishment given Bigda is too lenient.

” I think we have to ask when it comes to this case, at what point, at what standard is there when the commissioner feels a cop should be terminated,” asked Hurst?

Of course, Hurst brings up a good question. Especially since, like many other Bad Apples, Bigda has a history of misconduct, including violent acts, that all of the Good Cops in his department have a history of minimizing or simply ignoring. He even had two restraining orders issued against him for breaking into an ex-girlfriend’s house, threatening her, and engaging in a “physical altercation” against her. Det. Bigda was also involved in an illegal search of a UPS truck in 2005.

According to Mayor Sarno:

“We have to protect the integrity, professionalism, and brave efforts of our police department and in turn make sure our residents have complete confidence in our police department.”

Obviously, these sort of examples of “accountability” for cops caught (numerous times) committing misconduct and making threats or even engaging in assaults against citizens does the opposite of both those things, though.

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NYPD Cop Caught Planting Drugs on Innocent People Cries At Sentencing, Receives Probation

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It was originally published at the Gothamist by

The post details the court appearance of Jason Arbeeny, an NYPD cop who was caught planting drugs on innocent people in order to meet department arrest quaotas. During his sentencing hearing he began crying and begging the judge not to send him to jail. Amazingly enough, the judge actually stated that he had intended to sentence Arbeeny to jailtime, but instead decided to give him a probation as a result of his courtroom breakdown.

Do you think things would have gone the same for anyone who hadn’t committed their crimes while wearing a Magic Suit and Shiny Badge or was this just the typical Policeman’s Discount in action?

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

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The Brooklyn South narcotics detective who was convicted of planting drugs on a woman and her boyfriend was sentenced to five years’ probation and 300 hours of community service. Former cop Jason Arbeeny, a 14-year NYPD veteran, was previously found guilty of eight counts of falsifying records and official misconduct for planting drugs on innocent suspects—a crime he claimed he did in order to reach quotas. Arbeeny broke down in tears at his sentencing today: “I can’t look at myself in the mirror anymore,” Arbeeny told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach. “Sir, I am begging you, please don’t send me to jail.”

Arbeeny tearfully apologized to his victims: “My oath went down the window, my pride went out the window,” he said. And Reichbach was moved by his tears: “I came into court this morning determined that the nature of this crime requires some jail time,” he said. “I frankly didn’t expect the defendant, at the 11th hour, to be making these claims.” Arbeeny, who mentioned that his young son is in therapy after threatening suicide over his father’s fate, was facing up to four years in prison.

Arbeeny had been found guilty of “flaking”—planting a twist of crack under a car seat during a Coney Island bust in January 2007—and for doctoring paperwork to make the arrest last. Altogether, “flaking” has reportedly cost the city $1.2 million to settle cases of false arrests.

During the trial, Justice Reichbach made a direct connection between “flaking” and the arrest quotas which the NYPD has repeatedly denied exist, or referred to as “productivity goals”—Reichbach noted that several witnesses said narcotics officers were expected to make 60 percent of their arrests for felonies and that cops would spread collars around so they could all meet the quotas. He specifically pointed to the “mindset in Narcotics that seemingly embraces a cowboy culture where anything goes in the never-ending war on drugs.”

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