By Stephen Janis, Special to the AFRO
A Baltimore police officer has been indicted for falsely accusing an innocent city resident of committing a crime.
The latest charges allege a member of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), officer Michael O’Sullivan perjured himself when he testified a city youth possessed a gun despite body camera footage that purportedly contradicted his testimony.
The charges stem from O’Sullivan’s testimony against a yet to be identified Baltimore resident. During a trial last year Sullivan accused the defendant of possessing a hand gun. The defendant spent several months in jail before prosecutors eventually dropped the case.
The gun possession case was the result of a chase during which O’Sullivan dispersed a group of teens and later found a handgun. He subsequently accused a member of the group of possessing the gun. But prosecutors allege body camera footages shows that Sullivan could not have actually witnessed who was carrying the gun when the youths scattered.
On May 28, an arrest warrant was issued for O’Sullivan, who joined the police department in 2000. According to the city’s open data web site Sullivan earned $122,000 in 2018.
Police spokesman Matt Jablow did not respond to a request for comment.
O’Sullivan joins a long list of officers who have either been indicted or pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence or giving false testimony.
Former Baltimore Police Sgt. Keith Allen Gladstone recently pleaded guilty to planting a BB gun on a Baltimore resident who was struck by a vehicle driven by a member of the Gun Trace Task Force. The charges allege the scheme was concocted to cover-up the fact that GTTF member and ring leader Wayne Jenkins panicked after he intentionally ran over a suspect with his police vehicle.
Jenkins called Gladstone who drove to the scene and placed a BB gun near the injured suspect who was incapacitated. The victim was charged with possession of a handgun, but the case was eventually dropped by prosecutors.
The Gun Trace Task Force was a group of eight officers who were either convicted of or plead guilty to robbing residents, dealing drugs, and stealing overtime.
Last year Richard Pinheiro Jr. was convicted of planting evidence on a Baltimore resident. The charges were filed after body camera footage was released that showed him planting evidence in a Southwest Baltimore alley.
The BPD is currently under federal consent decree. The city entered the agreement after a Department of Justice report found the troubled agency used racists and unconstitutional tactics to target African-Americans.