Baltimore police officer Michael O’Sullivan was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury for falsely accusing a city resident of committing a crime. The charges allege the officer perjured himself when he testified that a Baltimore youth possessed a gun, despite body camera footage that allegedly contradicts his testimony.
O’Sullivan was indicted on one count of perjury and one count of misconduct in office.
The charges stem from testimony against a Baltimore resident, who O’Sullivan accused of possessing a handgun during a district court trial last year. The Baltimore resident spent several months in jail before prosecutors eventually dropped the case.
The handgun possession case was the result of a chase were O’Sullivan dispersed a group of teens and later found a handgun. O’Sullivan accused Smith of the possessing the gun, but prosecutors allege body camera footage shows that Sullivan could not have actually witnessed who was carrying the gun when the youths scattered.
On Tuesday an arrest warrant was issued for O’Sullivan, who joined in the police department in 2000. According to the city’s open data website O’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 plead guilty to tampering with evidence or giving false testimony.
Former Baltimore Police Sgt. Keith Allen Gladstone recently plead 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, a group of eight officers who were either convicted of or plead guilty to robbing residents, dealing drugs, and stealing overtime. The charges against Gladstone alleged the scheme was concocted to cover up the fact that GTTF ringleader 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.
Last year, Richard Pinheiro Jr. was convicted of planting evidence on a Southeast Baltimore resident. The charges were filed after body camera footage that showed him planting evidence on the resident in an alley emerged.
The Baltimore police department is currently under federal consent decree, after a Department of Justice department report alleged the troubled agency used racist and unconstitutional tactics to target African Americans.