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BPD investigating traffic stop involving Mayoral Candidate

Baltimore Mayoral candidate Thiru Vignarajah

The September traffic stop involving a candidate for Baltimore mayor is being scrutinized.  During the stop, Thiru Vignarajah asked the officer to call a supervisor and he is defending his request that the responding sergeant turn off his body camera. 

Vignarajah was stopped at around 1:00 a.m. along Greenmount Avenue after an officer on patrol said he was driving with his lights off and discovered his tags were suspended because of an open repair order for broken tail lights.  Some are questioning if turning off the camera violated police department policy and the BPD's Public Integrity Bureau is now in charge of the case.  At a news conference Tuesday, Vignarajah said the officer offered to turn off of body worn camera and that he accepted. “Body worn cameras are a critical part of what police officers use to make sure that we are getting a clear account of what is happening”, said Vignarajah  “At the same time, built into the current guidelines, it’s some common sense judgement and discretion that officers have to be able to use in the field.”

The Baltimore Sun reports the officer said he was giving Vignarajah, a former Maryland Deputy Attorney General, a warning about the headlights, but was removing his license plates because of the registration issue and tells him to call a tow truck. But after a sergeant arrived, at the officer’s request, the officer instead considers following Vignarajah home, but ultimately lets him leave on his own.