Police officer charged after his bodycam recorded him planting drugs and arresting innocent manBy Mason White 8:22 AM January 26, 2018
A police officer is facing years behind bars after allegedly planting drugs and arresting an innocent man, according to prosecutors in Maryland.
The Baltimore District Attorney’s Office announced that the indictment of Baltimore police officer Richard Pinheiro, 29, on charges of fabricating evidence and misconduct.
If convicted, Pinheiro faces up to 3 years in prison.
The Public Defender’s Office in Maryland has used a police body cam to get drug charges dropped against a client.
The man, a suspected drug dealer, was arrested after a video showed Officer Pinheiro finding drugs in an empty can of soup that was in a pile of trash near the suspect’s home.
However, when the public defender’s office reviewed the entire video of the incident that occurred at their client’s home, they were shocked by what they saw.
Police have since released the entire video to the public.
The incident, which the officer accidentally recorded with his body cam, shows him standing at the exact spot where the drugs were found 30 seconds later.
The officer apparently did not know that the body cam saved the last 30 seconds of footage before it was manually activated.
In that 30-second footage, the officer was seen holding a plastic bag with pills and placing it in a pile of dirt.
A short time later, the officer returned with the suspect and “searched the area” before “finding the hidden” drugs.
Officer Pinheiro is a witness in about 53 open drug cases and he was called to testify in a case this week.
He has been suspended and his two colleagues, who were also at the scene, were placed on desk duty.