43 criminal cases are likely to be dropped after a Baltimore police officer “self-reported” footage of a “re-enactment of the seizure of evidence.” In other words, body camera footage captured an officer planting evidence – yes, for a third time – and they gave the department a heads up in advance. 

The Baltimore Sun reports that dozens of trials dependent on the officer’s testimony are being reviewed on top of those already set to be dropped. A police spokesperson suggested that the officers in all three incidents in question may have been planting evidence to get their earlier legitimate arrests captured on video for the record.

Regardless, that goes entirely against the way the justice system works and is an offense that must be taken seriously.

“The body-worn-camera program was established to fight crime, better protect officers, and foster public trust,”Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said in a statement. “Whether planting evidence, re-enacting the seizure of evidence or prematurely turning off the department-issued body-worn camera, those actions misrepresent the truth and undermine public trust.”

The first incident of this nature involved an officer planting drugs in an alley, walking away then coming back to find them again. A second incident captured officers searching a car and finding nothing only for an officer to plant something for another to find a few moments later.

One has to wonder if the people of Baltimore should be expected to trust the police department at all at this point. In just a few months, the public has been made aware of multiple examples of police officers planting drugs for arrests. Whether or not those arrests were legitimate is beside the point as this behavior suggests a history of tampering with the law for ones benefit and everyone else’s detriment.

Read more at The Baltimore Sun.