Press Releases

Incarcerated Man’s Handgun Case Dismissed After Officer’s Body Worn Camera Footage Disproved Testimony

 

Baltimore, Maryland (December 4, 2019) - After a lengthy sentencing hearing, Baltimore City Police (BPD) Officer Michael O’Sullivan has received a 15 month sentence to the Department of Corrections for each count of perjury and misconduct in office. In June of 2018, Yusuf Smith, was wrongfully convicted and served 38 days in jail because the material witness, Officer O’Sullivan, provided false testimony during a Baltimore City district court handgun case. Over the State’s objection, the court has allowed the defendant to surrender on January 6, 2020 to begin his sentence.

Assistant State's Attorney Steven Trostle prosecuted this case.

On May 31, 2018, Officer O’Sullivan along with other BPD officers learned information about a possible man involved in illegal activity, possibly armed with a gun in the area of the 5600 Block of The Alameda. When officers went to that location, a firearm was found on the ground and officers, after a brief chase, caught a fleeing Yusuf Smith.

During Mr. Smith’s trial, Officer O’Sullivan testified that he saw Yusuf Smith reach for his waistline and throw a gun before fleeing from the police. It was later discovered, after a thorough review of body-worn camera footage, that Officer O’Sullivan did not, and could not, have seen what he testified to under oath while in court. The State revisited Mr. Smith’s conviction and entered a nolle prosequi in the matter. The State then sought and obtained a grand jury indictment against Officer O’Sullivan alleging perjury and misconduct in office. The Judge agreed with the charges, in finding that Officer O’Sullivan perjured himself and did not, and could not, have seen what he claimed to witness.

Our justice system is hinged upon the integrity of law enforcement and when officers perjure themselves in order to convict innocent people, they must be held accountable for their violation of public trust – that was done today,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

 

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