aside Police Theft / Racketeering Ring Exposed In Elite Baltimore Police Department

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FREDDIE GRAY

The city of Baltimore has a police department with a history of corruption and racism. The police department is supposed to be undergoing reforms after the death of an unarmed Black man, Freddie Gray who was killed in 2015 after police arrest in transit by a police van to the police department. (See:Death of Freddie Gray: 5 Things You Didn’t Know – Rolling Stone/ April 2017)

Then recently there is the story of Demetrius Smith who had been wrongfully convicted for murder in 2008 by the Baltimore police, was proven innocent in 2013 but had to fight until January 2018 to have his record expunged. (See:A Case of “Mistaken” Identity | Filosofa’s Word)

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DEMETRIUS SMITH

The latest 2017 scandal of an elite Baltimore police task force being a theft/ racketeering ring has shocked the community into seeing their police as criminals to be frightened of, instead of the protectors they have sworn to be.

Several officers have been charged with racketeering conspiracy, robbery and possession of a firearm in a crime of violence. The allegations include using their badge to steal from people, as well as overtime fraud and the planting of evidence.

Here is the rest of the story…

On December 18, 2017, Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun penned the following report, “Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force officer plans to argue crimes were theft, not robberies”

Excerpts:

“The attorney for a detective charged in the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force racketeering case hopes to convince a jury that his client took money from people under legal circumstances and that pocketing the money is a lesser crime than the robbery and extortion charges he is facing.”

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“The argument came at a motions hearing for the three officers who plan to fight the charges at trial next month. Five other officers have pleaded guilty, while a former Baltimore officer who joined the Philadelphia police force is charged separately. Former Sgt. Wayne Jenkins and Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were brought into the courtroom Tuesday (2/6/18) afternoon wearing jumpsuits from the local jails where they are being held. Their hands were cuffed behind their backs. All three sported shaved heads.”

“Hersl’s attorney, William Purpura, said his client had probable cause to stop people and used legal authority to take drugs, guns and cash from them. He said his client “readily admits” it was “bad conduct,” but it is not the same as robbery and extortion.”

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 “If an officer [then] converts that money for personal use, that is a theft,” Purpura told U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake.

“Under the law, robbery involves taking property from another person either through the use of or threat of violence, while theft is taking that property without violence or threat — think the difference between a mugging and a pickpocket.

“Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise added that some of the victims will testify that Hersl and the officers lied about the circumstances under which they were stopped or searched.”

The officers are charged with racketeering conspiracy, robbery and possession of a firearm in a crime of violence. The allegations include using their badge to steal from people, as well as overtime fraud. Jenkins also recently was charged with planting evidence on a man in 2010.

“Hersl and Taylor have pleaded not guilty. Jenkins has not entered a plea, and his attorney did not speak at Tuesday’s hearing.”

“Jenkins could be seen in the courtroom talking to his attorney. Asked  (the Dad) why his son wasn’t mounting a more aggressive defense to the charges, Lloyd Jenkins said, “We’re all scared to do anything.”

“The case has prompted the disbanding of the elite gun unit as well as other plainclothes units throughout the Baltimore Police Department. Attorneys have filed more than 40 notices of civil lawsuits with the city, and about 175 criminal cases have been dropped and convictions overturned. The state public defender’s office says 2,000 cases are tainted, and the first federal convictions were overturned Monday when a judge apologized to two men who allegedly had drugs planted on them by Jenkins.”

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“Rayam testified at a federal drug trial this fall that he used falsified search warrants to gain entry to places where he wanted to take money or other items from people.”

“The incident report was the coverup,” Rayam said.

“But he also said he never put false charges on anyone. “The charges were always true,” he said, adding that he might sometimes lessen the charges the arrestee faced if something was taken from them during the incident.”

“Rayam and Gondo also said they committed off-duty home invasions.”

“In that incident, prosecutors say Hersl participated in taking and splitting up a $20,000 bundle of money. Clewell has not been accused of taking any money.”

“Wise said the cooperating defendants will show “a lot of problems with warrants” the officers filed in court.”

“They weren’t great with their paperwork, believe it or not,” Wise said sarcastically.”

Related Articles:

Witness: Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force officer brought him trash full of looted drugs/ BaltimoreSun .

Notable testimony from the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force …

Feds have reopened 2010 case involving slain Baltimore detective 

Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force: Ongoing coverage – Baltimore …

In Baltimore, Brazen Officers Took Every Chance to Rob and Cheat NY Times 2/6/18 …

2 comments

  1. Dear Roger,

    This is the same police that railroaded an innocent man Demetrius Smith into jail on a murder charge that Jill wrote about in one of her posts.

    .The Baltimore police department was supposed to be under supervision by the federal US Department of Justice headed by the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to improve/ reform their policing practices in particular in the minority communities. As a matter of fact, it is the current US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who had started to prosecute this case in Baltimore before he moved over to DOJ.

    Under President Obama administration, A Justice Department investigation found that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in unconstitutional practices that led to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests of Black Americans, and excessive use of force against juveniles and people with mental health disabilities.

    The Department of Justice monitored the department’s policing methods for more than a year at the request of the Baltimore Police Department, after the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal injury while in police custody. This case had received lots of national media coverage.

    The long-awaited report, which covered data from 2010 to 2016, attributed the practices to “systemic deficiencies” in training, policies, and accountability structures that “failed to equip officers with the tools they needed to police effectively.”

    This police ring tells me that they have along way to go. This was only uncovered by the above described DOJ (US Department of Justice) federal investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department.

    They were, simply put, both cops and robbers. According to prosecutors, the officers stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from city residents. They broke into houses. They stole drugs and then gave them to drug dealers. They carried BB guns that they could plant on people they shot. Six members of the task force have already pleaded guilty.

    So in this case the guards and the robbers were one, and the same.

    Hugs, Gronda

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