The Baltimore Sun reports today that twice in the past year, the police have “lost” critical evidence in separate rape cases against Baltimore City police officers. Both of the alleged rapes occurred to victims in police custody.
In this most recent case, DNA analysis showed that wipes, that the teenager said were used by the officer after the sex act, found in a station trash can have DNA consistent with the accused officer and his alleged 16-year-old victim. For anyone other than the O.J. jury, this is pretty powerful evidence, right? But now, the clothing, the rape kit, and all the physical evidence are gone. This sounds like an episode of The Wire.
Comically, the accused police officers lawyer, Warren Brown, called the missing evidence “a blunder” and said that he is not “reading anything sinister into it.” Mr. Brown is considered one of the top criminal lawyers in Maryland. But give us a break. I’m sure he had nothing to do with it, but we all know what happened here. I can’t stop thinking about the choice someone made to go in and steal this evidence. I admire people willing to go out on a limb for a friend but not when there is solid evidence that shows that friend raped a 16-year-old girl.
There will be a few front-page stories in the Baltimore Sun and there will be a few angry bloggers (this is a good one from Rev. Herber Brown III) but this story and these concerns will soon blow over and this story will be forgotten until this happens again in a few months. I’m sure the next story will be forgotten too unless it involves someone who knows someone instead of a 16-year-old girl with a likely troubled past and no connections.