Cop suspended; defense lawyers say video shows drugs planted

Video release by Baltimore public defender of what appears to be police planting drugs in January 2017.

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore officer's police powers have been suspended after defense attorneys released a body camera video that they said shows an officer planting drugs.

Two other officers were put on non-public-contact administrative duty, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference Wednesday.

The video released Tuesday by the public defender's office was taken during a drug arrest in January. It shows an officer placing a can in a trash-filled lot as two other officers look on, then activating the camera and returning to pick up the can and pulling out a plastic bag of white capsules.

The cameras save 30 seconds of video before they're activated.

The video was one of four body camera videos of the incident. Davis showed parts of the videos at the news conference.

"Perception is reality," Davis said. "If the community thinks police officers are planting evidence, I've got to do a bunch of things when allegations surface."

The incident is under investigation, Davis said, adding, "I know we can't just say 'no comment,' investigation is underway."

Police haven't reached any conclusions, David said. The videos lead to many questions, he said, including if any crimes were committed or any police procedures violated.

"None of us can rely just on observations of video," the commissioner said. "There are other factors we have to explore."