Pueblo, CO bust falls apart because cop staged his bodycam footage to frame his suspect

Colorado prosecutors have dismissed felony drug and weapons charges against a suspect because they learned that Pueblo Police Department offier Seth Jensen defrauded the court by faking his bodycam footage, "recreating" his bust after the suspect's car was in the impound lot.

Now the body cam footage of Pueblo Police Department Officer Seth Jensen, which was used in court, is being published exclusively by Ars Technica. The video above shows Jenson finding a .357 Magnum, about 7 grams of heroin, and 43 $1 bills in the vehicle suspect Joseph Cajar was traveling in. The vehicle was towed after Cajar couldn't provide an officer registration or insurance during a traffic stop.

In the footage, provided to Ars by Cajar's attorney, Jensen reenacts the vehicle search at a local tow yard. Jensen later texted (PDF) a local Pueblo County prosecutor telling her that the video was staged. That prosecutor then alerted her superiors, and charges against Cajar were dropped.

"This was concerning because all indications in the discovery and during his testimony at the preliminary hearing indicated that the body camera footage actually represented the sequence of events as they developed regarding the search. Furthermore, the staging was done in such a way to make it look like it was done in real-time. (The items had to be repositioned etc.)," Joe Koncilja, Cajar's attorney, told Ars in an e-mail.

Watch a cop’s staged body cam footage made “to look like it was done in real-time“
[David Kravets/Ars Technica]

(via Naked Capitalism)