A CBS News investigation uncovered some troubling misconduct on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department. The news provider obtained body cam footage showing a police officer planting cocaine in a man’s wallet. The action led to a cocaine possession charge for suspect Ronald Shields, who was initially pulled over for hit-and-run.
In the footage obtained by David Goldstein, a CBS 2 investigative reporter, viewers can clearly see LAPD Officer Samuel Lee placing a small bag of white powder (that later tested positive for cocaine) into Ronald Shields’ wallet. In response to the investigation’s airing, the LAPD said:
“The LAPD takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and, as in all cases, will conduct a thorough investigation.”
Naturally, Shields’ attorney challenged evidence against his client. Officer Lee and fellow officer “Gaxiola” were called into to court to explain themselves, according to the article. In court, Lee echoed what he wrote in his police report, that the cocaine was found in Shields’ left front pocket. When you watch the video however, you see something altogether different. Please take a moment to watch:
If you are having trouble watching please click here.
Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement, saying he “expects the highest integrity from everyone who wears the badge.”
The hearing challenging evidence will commence in December, this is the first time body-cam video used in a case has been obtained by the media. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.