This Video Appears to Show an LAPD Officer Planting Drugs on a Suspect
CBS Los Angeles has obtained video—shot by an LAPD officer’s own bodycam—that appears to show several officers planting cocaine on a suspect.
The video shows officers arresting a man named Ronald Shields—who was later charged with hit-and-run, having a gun in the trunk of his car and cocaine possession. But, it appears that the officer who was running the camera didn’t realize that it actually records and saves everything happening (without audio) in the 30 seconds prior to the record button being hit.
In the time before he thinks the video is activated, an officer picks up a wallet from the street. He then shows it to another officer arresting Shields, who points to the suspect, indicating it belongs to him. The officer then picks up a small bag of cocaine and places it into Shields’ wallet—all while he is being handcuffed. He then tells the suspect, “Just to let you know, sir, inside his wallet, he has a little bag of narco.”
The police report gives a different account than the video. In it, the officers wrote that the cocaine was found in Shield’s shirt pocket. Now, the footage is facing scrutiny, and the LAPD is investigating it.
Shields’ lawyer told reporters, “The drugs were certainly planted. If not for the body cam video, my client would be convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.”