Yet Another Isolated Incident

Cop apologists love to refer to bad cops as isolated incidents. But for being isolated there are an awful lot of them:

Maryland prosecutors have tossed 34 criminal cases and are re-examining dozens more in the aftermath of recent revelations that a Baltimore police officer accidentally recorded himself planting drugs in a trash-strewn alley.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said that, in all, 123 cases are under review in the wake of a scandal in which one officer has been suspended and two others put on administrative duty. Body cam footage revealed nearly two weeks ago showed one of the officers planting drugs when he didn’t realize his body cam was recording. The Baltimore Police Department’s body cams, like many across the nation, capture footage 30 seconds before an officer presses the record button. The footage was turned over to defense attorneys as part of a drug prosecution—and that’s when the misdeed was uncovered.

I can see why the two officers involved in the murder of Justine Ruszczyk left their body cameras off. Being absent minded about those devices can lead to a paid vacation and, I’m sure, a stern talking to about camera etiquette (i.e. being smart enough to turn it off if you’re going to do something that makes the department look bad).

While it’s nice that one dirty cop was caught this incident will ensure that the rest of the thin blue line is aware of the fact that their cameras record everything that happened 30 seconds before pressing the record button. Being aware of the feature will ensure that they work around it when breaking the law in the future. Furthermore, even when caught on camera planting evidence the officer is enjoying a paid vacation instead of being in jail like you or I would be. That alone should seriously piss people off but few people seem to care.

3 thoughts on “Yet Another Isolated Incident”

  1. Someone needs to make a legal case as to why in the age of dirt cheap storage the body and dash cams are not recording all of the time. If nothing happened on the patrol record over the file.

    1. The thing is the Axon 2, a very popular body camera, has the storage and battery capacity to record entire shifts. There is no technical reason why police body cameras can’t be turned on for their entire shift, just departmental policy issues.

  2. Oh I figured most of the body and dash cams could record for at least a full shift as is its just making the recordings happen. Even if you dump 99% of all footage taken then so be it.

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