LAPD cop accidentally films himself planting cocaine on an innocent man
November 16, 2017
There are some people who trust everything the police say, even when it directly contradicts their own evidence, or doesn’t make sense at all, like when officer Darren Wilson claimed Mike Brown was a “hulk” who mindlessly ran through bullets to his death. That leads to cases like that of LAPD officer Samuel Lee, who was recently caught assisting with planting drugs on camera, being seen as an anomaly, rather than just the way things are.
According to CBS2 News, Lee arrested Ronald Shields earlier this year and charged him with felony hit-and-run and possession of cocaine after a car accident. Defense attorneys obtained 12 bodycam clips that prove officer Lee was lying about how he found the drugs, and even shows the officer’s partner planting drugs on the man.
“There’s a little white square here in his hand,” defense attorney Steve Levine told CBS about one point in the video. “I believe the video shows the drugs were in his right hand and transfers to his left hand.”
In court, the partner did not testify, and officer Lee had no comment. “He looked dumbstruck to me,” Levine said. “Period. He had really no answer.”
In the video, you can see Lee searching the suspect. In court and in the police report, he says that the cocaine was found in Shields’ left front pocket, but video shows fellow LAPD Officer Gaxiola picking up Shields’ wallet from the street and showing it to Lee, who affirms that it belongs to the suspect.
Gaxiola then puts the wallet back down, steps to the street, bends over and picks up a small bag with white powder that later tested positive for drugs. The officer then goes back to the sidewalk, picks up the wallet, motions to Lee and appears to put the bag into the wallet.
This is when the officer activates the recording on the camera, but he probably didn’t know is that the previous 30 seconds are automatically saved without audio.
The depressing thing about all of this is that officers are already wising up about when and how to manipulate bodycam footage, which makes the cameras ineffective in combating police abuse overall. We can’t rely on cops being stupid—it’s well past time we stop taking officers at their word.