Imagine walking down the street in Plano, minding your business, when a police officer pulls over and begins questioning you. The next thing you know, the officer is putting you in handcuffs and placing you in the backseat of his squad car. He is charging you with drug possession.
How did the officer find drugs when you were not carrying any? He must have planted them while he was searching you. It sounds like a movie, but it actually happens all over the United States.
Cops sabotage their intentions
Recently, a Baltimore police officer did a public defender a favor by leaving his body camera on while he planted drugs in an effort to strengthen his arrest of the defendant. The video, which is now public, shows the officer hide the drugs and "find" them later. The video also implies the presence of two other officers while the plant took place.
In many cases of alleged police misconduct, it is very difficult to prove: Officers usually will not take the stand against each other, and juries tend to take police officers' sworn testimony over the argument of the defense. Video evidence of a police officer planting evidence in order to solidify an arrest is a gross violation of public trust. In this particular case, one of the officers is currently suspended and the other two are on administrative duty.
Body cam reversal of fortune
Once an assistant public defender released the video to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, the court dismissed the case. While the defendant was able to walk free, the officer involved is facing an investigation by the internal affairs department. While the U.S. Justice Department is still conducting research on police body cameras and their impact, their purpose is to aid officers in protecting and serving their communities.
If officers in Baltimore can plant evidence, those in the Dallas area are certainly capable of doing so as well. While we often see this kind of behavior in movies and on television, police misconduct such as this does happen in real life.
If you are facing a drug charge, it is important to remember that there are criminal defenses available. Your defense is going to depend largely on the specific circumstances of your case. From lost evidence to entrapment and planted drugs, there may be a strategy that fits your situation so that you can successfully fight back against the charges.