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Baltimore City Police: To Profit And Steal.

Seven Baltimore City police officers, who were members of the “Gun Task Force” have been arrested and indicted on charges they robbed and extorted Baltimore residents, filed false court documents, and made false overtime claims:

The indictment alleges that Detective Marcus Taylor, for instance, filed for overtime on days when he was in New York City on vacation. It alleges that Sgt. Wayne Jenkins filed for overtime on days when he was in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on vacation. It alleges that Detective Maurice Ward also filed overtime for a day when he was in Myrtle Beach on vacation.

The indictment alleges Detectives Jemell Rayam and Momodu Gondo were recorded discussing being in the poker room at Maryland Live Casino in Anne Arundel County and getting a drink with a friend, respectively, on a day when they claimed to be working overtime.

The indictment does not provide total dollar amounts for the alleged fraudulent overtime payments, but does calculate the total amount of overtime the officers made in fiscal 2016.

Jenkins, whose annual salary was $85,406, made the most of any of the officers, taking in $83,345 in overtime. Gondo, whose annual salary was $71,412, made the least amount of overtime of any of the officers, taking in more than $29,000.

In addition to overtime fraud, the officers are accused of shaking down citizens, filing false court paperwork and making fraudulent overtime claims, all while Justice Department investigators were scrutinizing the department for what they concluded were widespread civil rights violations.

One of the officers was also accused in a separate indictment of participating in an illegal drug organization and tipping its members off to investigations.

[…]

The officers were summoned to internal affairs Wednesday morning and arrested. They were identified as Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, 36, and Detectives Momodu Gondo, 34; Evodio Hendrix, 32; Daniel Hersl, 47; Jemell Rayam, 36; Marcus Taylor, 30; and Maurice Ward, 36.

It appears that these officers were not unknown to be what can charitably described as “bad cops.”

Some of the officers have long been accused of using excessive force or of other wrongdoing. The city has paid out more than $500,000 in settlements in cases involving the officers, according to a review by The Baltimore Sun.

Members of the city’s state legislative delegation called for a federal investigation into Rayam in 2009 after he was involved in three shootings over the course of two years. The city has settled multiple lawsuits involving Hersl.

“The majority of these officers have been known to my attorneys as having significant credibility issues,” Baltimore Deputy Public Defender Natalie Finegar said. “We have aggressively been pursuing personnel records to be able to highlight the issues with their credibility on the force.”

But even with the allegations and use of excessive force, these rogue cops were still on the job and still allowed to shake down citizens, steal from the taxpayers and run illegal operations. If anything, this case shows how horribly difficult it is to get rid of bad cops. Frankly, getting rid of those bad cops should be something every good cop should want to happen. The actions of the bad cops stain the good cops and damages the reputation of the police within the City. (Assuming that it could be damaged more than it is already.)

Indicted Officers.
(image courtesy Baltimore City Police Department)

Six out of the seven officers are being held without bail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Gallagher cited concerns with the officers’ previous actions while on the job.

Prosecutors had successfully argued to Gallagher on Thursday that Jenkins, Gondo, Hendrix, Hersl, Rayam and Ward should be held in jail pending trial because they had shown through their actions that they could not be trusted and were capable of evading supervision.

Gallagher said the allegations against the officers — including witness intimidation — suggested an “egregious breach of public trust” and a “serious risk” that they would seek to obstruct justice in their cases were they released.

The seventh officer’s hearing was postponed reportedly due to a medical issue with the officer.

The case gets even stranger though:

Questions are swirling around the cases for seven indicted Baltimore City Police officers and whether any fellow officers or members of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office tipped them to the federal investigation.

The officers are accused of stealing from citizens during home searches and traffic stops as the department was under a Department of Justice investigation.

RELATED: Baltimore Officers Charged In Racketeering Conspiracy Head To Court

A federal prosecutor made the leak allegations Thursday during detention hearings for the officers.

In a statement to WJZ, U. S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein’s office said, “Federal authorities are continuing the investigation and coordinating with the state’s attorney to determine whether or not there was an unlawful disclosure by a state prosecutor.”

On Thursday, City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she was unaware of the investigation against the officers until it was made public. Her office has had to drop several cases involving them. However, Mosby declined an interview with WJZ Friday.

Mosby’s office would not say whether she is independently investigating any leaks and issued this statement to WJZ:

“The BCSAO was not a part of the investigation that led to these indictments. All inquiries regarding this investigation and subsequent investigations should be directed towards the U. S. Attorney’s office.”

In case you don’t remember the name, Marilyn Mosby was the prosecutor who famously and disastrously charged officers in the Freddie Gray case where black man was injured died in police custody. She and her office are being sued by the officers who claim the prosecution was malicious and without basis.

When Mosby says her office had no knowledge of the Federal investigation into the Baltimore Police Department, you can take that claim with a grain of salt.

Or even less.

If these cops are guilty, and for now they have the right to be presumed innocent, they should be sent to jail and ordered to pay restitution for the money they stole from people in the streets and taxpayers in their overtime scheme.

That’s the only way that the people can start to trust the cops and the legal system within the City of Baltimore again.



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