BALTIMORE — Police body cam footage released this week shows a Baltimore Police officer planting illegal substances in the yard of a man he and two other officers arrested in January.
In the video, the three officers can be seen looking around a trash-covered yard. Officer Richard Pinheiro, whose body worn camera the footage is from, then finds an empty soup can. Officer Pinheiro can then be seen placing a small baggie filled with white powdered capsules into the can, and setting it back down.
After leaving the area, the three officers head down the alley to the street. They appear to then confer about their plan, and once they finish, Officer Pinheiro then turns on his body worn camera. Officer Pinheiro wasn't aware that the body camera he was wearing has a feature that saves footage 30 seconds prior to activation, only without audio.
Upon returning to the yard, the video shows Officer Pinheiro rummaging around before he suddenly notices the soup can, and discovers the drugs he himself planted seconds before.
Officer Pinheiro's discovery was enough to arrest the man, whose name has yet to be reported. The man was arrested on drug charges and has been kept in jail on a $50,000 bond he was unable to pay. The day after the entire video was released by the public defender's office, the charges against the man were dropped.
Officer Pinheiro is a witness in 53 other active cases. Prosecutors actually called him in to testify as a witness in a case just days after this incident, and failed to disclose the findings in the video to the defense attorney of that case.
According to the Baltimore Police Department, its internal affairs division is now investigating Officer Pinheiro and the other two officers involved in the arrest.