Evidence-Planting Charges Could Affect 500 Cases

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Public defenders in Baltimore say hundreds of criminal cases could be tossed out after two incidents discovered on police body cameras this summer show officers allegedly planting drug evidence, NPR reports. So far some 40 cases have been dropped, mostly involving drug and weapons-related felonies. Lawyers say that’s just the beginning. “I would say there are hundreds and hundreds of cases directly affected between the two cases,” says Debbie Katz Levi of the public defender’s office. “I think it’s safe to say if you included all of the officers, you’re probably at around 500 cases.”

The Baltimore police internal affairs office is investigating. The  State’s Attorney’s office says “we are currently reviewing numbers.” Caron Brace, chief of staff for State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, said, “These officers are employed by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). Therefore, it is a problem that BPD must solve. The Office of the State’s Attorney believes that this represents a small percentage of officers, and will support the Baltimore Police Department as it works to rectify the issue.” Baltimore is already under federal scrutiny after seven officers were arrested earlier this year for racketeering offenses, including robbery, extortion, and overtime fraud.

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