The true scope of just how horrendously corrupt the Baltimore Police Department is, recently came to light in one of the biggest police scandals that has been uncovered in the U.S. in years. The details are almost mind blowing, but sadly, they’re all too real.
This sorry affair started when a 19-year-old woman overdosed in 2011, and the Baltimore PD began tracing the origin of the drugs she consumed. One thing led to another, unexpected details were uncovered, internal affairs was undoubtedly involved at some point, and it ended with 8 members of the Baltimore PD’s “Gun Trace Task Force” being charged with a litany of crimes from racketeering to robbery.
The most heinous act in the scandal came directly from the supervisor in the Baltimore PD. He instructed his officers to literally carry toy guns to plant on their victims if they engaged in the shooting of an unarmed person. He described it as a good way to “fix things” if they find themselves “in a jam.” When Marcus Taylor, one of the previously mentioned group, was arrested the cops couldn’t figure out why he had a toy gun in the glove compartment of his vehicle. They soon found it exactly why. Now, the shooting of a 13-year-old boy that happened in April of 2016 is suddenly being called into question again, since the cops claimed they “saw him holding a gun.” The previously “open and shut case” now has the potential to go nuclear.
Next came Maurice Ward who would regularly speed in his cruiser toward groups of civilians, hammer the breaks, skidding to a halt only a few feet from them and getting out to pursue and arrest “anyone who ran” because to him, that was an admission of guilt.
Wayne Jenkins was also a member of this group. His particular niche was robbery. He’d stop drug dealers to rob them of their money on a routine basis. One time he netted $6,500 from a single dealer and then he went to the home of that same person and stole another $100,000 from a safe. Jenkins would regularly ask other drug dealers “If you could put together a crew of guys and rob the biggest drug dealer in town, who would it be?” He’d then target these individuals.
So far, 6 of the 8 officers indicted in this massive pit of corruption have agreed to testify in court and are cooperating with law enforcement agents. There would have been 7 officers testifying, but the 7th, Sean Suiter, was “mysteriously” killed by his own gun shortly before he was set to testify in court.
The details of this are horrible beyond compare. But, the sad truth is that until we have real criminal justice reform in this nation, there’s a version of this playing out in every larger U.S city to some degree. We need a change.