Baltimore Chief Defends Officers in ‘Planting’ Cases

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Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says there is “no doubt” that illegal drugs were legitimately recovered in two cases that were dropped by prosecutors amid questions surrounding officer body-camera footage, the Baltimore Sun reports. Defense attorneys in both cases have alleged that the footage showed officers planting drugs. Davis, who called a news conference to discuss the cases, said it is the job of defense attorneys to raise doubt. He warned that accusing officers of fabricating evidence is “a heavy allegation to make” and “irresponsible” before investigations into the footage are complete — even if the footage looks “ugly” on first impression.

Davis said there was no doubt that probable cause existed for arrests. Debbie Katz Levi, who heads the special litigation section in the Baltimore public defender office, called Davis’ comments “incredibly offensive.” “Let’s wait to see all the evidence before charging someone with felonies that carry 20 years in prison,” Levi said. “What is the excuse for them rushing to judgment, and then looking backward and dropping charges seven months later?”

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