Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2018
Planting evidence means to establish proof of someone’s guilt by changing or adding false evidence to the scene of the crime. It is an illegal practice that can lead to the courts wrongfully convicting an innocent person. Police officers, the ones employed to protect and serve the people of Baltimore, might be the last people you’d expect to be guilty of planting evidence. Yet this is exactly what a recent video appears to catch on camera.
CBS News reports on a video that apparently shows, for the second time in one month, Baltimore police planting evidence at the scene of a crime. The video comes from body camera footage from one of the officers on the scene, dated November 30th, 2016. It shows what looks like an officer planting drugs in a suspect’s vehicle, after stopping the individual for a suspected drug deal. A local defense attorney stated that to find the officers guilty of manufacturing evidence, all one would have to do is look at the video.
The courts later absolved the suspect of her alleged drug crime after a conviction stemming from the November 30th arrest. A similar case remains on trial, involving apparent body camera footage of a Baltimore officer hiding drugs in a suspect’s yard and later “discovering” them. The Baltimore Police Department has suspended the officer and is looking into his 53 active cases for other signs of manufactured evidence or corruption. These latest pieces of video evidence are causing many in Baltimore to wonder: just how common is it for police to plant evidence?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to gauge just how often police officers plant evidence at crime scenes since no one is keeping track of this information. Police officers and law enforcement agencies are often the ones in charge of collecting this type of data, but of course they would not record instances of evidence planting. People have accused police officers of planting evidence for years – sometimes achieving justice, other times not. Thanks to officer body-camera footage, however, more evidence might surface of police officer misconduct.
High-profile cases such as the now-famous trial of Stephen Avery (subject of Netflix documentary Making a Murderer) have sparked speculation regarding planted evidence in the past. Avery’s current defense attorney, Kathleen Zellner, believes that someone – possibly the police – planted Avery’s blood in the vehicle. Cases like this, along with headlines regarding other examples of police misconduct, have led to widespread mistrust of police officers involved in criminal cases. Yet, sadly for wrongfully convicted victims, there remains no statistical evidence or data supporting the issue of planted evidence.
In the two recent Baltimore cases, securing police officer body camera footage has been the key to proving that the officers planted evidence on the scene. But what if video footage of the misconduct in question isn’t available? How does an innocent person prove that the police planted evidence to connect him or her to a crime scene? With no government agencies tracking planted evidence, it will be up to other seekers of justice – criminal defense attorneys.
Hiring an attorney is one of the only ways one can hope to find proof of planted evidence. The police won’t help you, and neither will the prosecution. A defense attorney is your best chance at proving that someone has tainted your trial with false evidence against you. Find a lawyer you can trust to work hard on your case and to do whatever it takes to prove to a jury that someone else did in fact plant the evidence – especially if you’re trying to go up against the Baltimore police department.