Prosecutors in Baltimore have decided to drop dozens of additional criminal cases that relied on the testimony of eight city police officers indicted on federal racketeering charges, and have dropped more cases relying on police body camera footage that critics say shows poor behavior. More than 850 cases may be affected, says prosecutor Marilyn Mosby.
Prosecutors in Baltimore have decided to drop dozens of additional criminal cases that relied on the testimony of eight city police officers indicted on federal racketeering charges, bringing the total to more than 100, said Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office, the Baltimore Sun reports. They have dropped still more cases that relied on the testimony of officers in police body camera footage that critics say showed improper or questionable behavior. More than 850 criminal cases in Baltimore “have been or potentially will be impacted” as a result of the federal racketeering case and three separate body-camera investigations, Mosby’s office said. Hundreds of cases are still being reviewed.
The updated figures reflect the growing fallout from scandals that have cast the Baltimore Police Department in a negative light in recent months, just as it seeks to implement sweeping reforms under a court-enforced consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. Mosby’s office said the figures are the result of local prosecutors’ efforts to “thoroughly evaluate” not only cases in which questionable police activity arises, but also every other criminal case that is dependent on the word of officers who have been involved in questionable activity. Deborah Katz Levi of the Baltimore public defender’s office, which helped uncover some of the body-camera footage, said that while she applauds the “initial efforts” by Mosby’s office to address alleged police misconduct, prosecutors haven’t gone far enough. “[We] believe their numbers are far too low and there are still far too many individuals incarcerated on tainted convictions,” Levi said.