A veteran Baltimore police officer was sentenced to 15 months in jail for lying in testimony during a handgun trial, prosecutors said Wednesday.
In June 2018, Officer Michael O'Sullivan gave false testimony in a district court that led to the wrongful conviction of Yusuf Smith, who spent 38 days in jail, prosecutors said.
“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,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement.
On May 31, 2018, O'Sullivan and other officers learned about a possibly armed man who may have been involved in illegal activity in the area of the 5600 block of the Alameda. When officers arrived, they found a firearm that had been thrown on the ground, chased Smith and arrested him, prosecutors said.
During Smith's trial, however, O'Sullivan, an 18-year veteran, testified that he saw Smith reach for his waistline and throw a gun before he fled. Prosecutors said a review of body-worn camera footage found that O'Sullivan did not see and could not have seen what he testified to under oath.
Prosecutors entered a nolle prosequi in Smith's case then obtained an indictment against O'Sullivan, who was found guilty in a bench trial.
The judge allowed O'Sullivan to surrender on Jan. 6, 2020, to begin his sentence.
O’Sullivan is currently suspended, a police spokesman said.