It’s Too Easy To Hide Behind a Badge 8 Officers found Guilty

It's Too Easy To Hide Behind a Badge 8 Officers found Guilty

It’s Too Easy To Hide Behind a Badge 8 Officers found Guilty
American’s need to accept getting a badge does not mean someone is honest or law abiding in fact scandels such as what took place in Baltimore and the Rampart Scandal in Los Angeles are proof the corruption and ABUSE OF POWER is far worse than they want us to know. The bigger problem is the lack of government action when vitims come forward to report these criminals. They are protected while the real victims have their characters assisnated again and again to put the focus on the victims not the real criminals. This common practice is called “Don’t like the message, kill the messenger” and is commonly used against court victims in America.

  • Thomas Allers
    Momodu Gando
  • Maurice Ward
  • Markus Taylor
  • Jeme;; Ryan
  • Evodio Hendrix
  • Dainel Hersl
  • Wayne Jenkins

Baltimore Police officers were indicted on charges of committing robberies, extortion, filing fake police reports and overtime fraud.

In today’s news conference federal and local law enforcement officials were flanked by poster boards of the damning evidence on one side and the code we expect from our officers on the other.

“I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith,” the code begins; a badge today tarnished, illustrated in the tense face and terse words of Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Most of the officers were part of the specialized Gun Trace Task Force using their badge to commit robberies and extortion.

The indictments also allege the seven officers made fake police reports and even deliberately turned off their body worn cameras to conduct their business.

The outgoing U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein called it a “pernicious robbery scheme,” and that the indictments read like a slow but steady fleecing of public trust through power.

“It shows you what is going on behind the scenes, what these defendant allegedly are talking about…how they conduct themselves when they think nobody is listening and what you see is a lack of respect for the system,” Rosenstein said.

Lack of respect and flying in the face of a reform the Baltimore Police commissioner has been championing.
Of Officers Momodu Gondo, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, Jemell Rayam, Marcus Taylor and Maurice Ward, some already had personnel smears on their records. FULL STORY

To make matters worse and confirm the problem is as bad as we claim this is not the first time:

Among days of explosive allegations in the corruption trial of two Baltimore police officers, there emerged the name of a sergeant little known to the public.

A bail bondsman and admitted drug dealer testified that Sgt. Thomas E. Wilson III once provided security as he met with a drug supplier at a Baltimore strip club.

But Wilson has long been known to the police department’s Internal Affairs division.

Documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun show that the unit recommended in 2005 that then-Officer Wilson be fired for allegedly entering and searching a home without a warrant, getting a warrant after the fact, and then falsifying paperwork to suggest that the warrant had been obtained before entering the home. A trial board found Wilson guilty of misconduct and neglect of duty, and recommended a 15-day suspension without pay.

Wilson remains a city officer. The allegations against him, and the recommendations that he be disciplined, did not prevent the Baltimore Police Department from promoting him to sergeant, or from assigning him to supervise and teach officers in the Western District.

The department says it put Wilson on administrative duties after his name emerged in the testimony this month of bail bondsman and drug dealer Donald C. Stepp pending an internal investigation. Stepp did not testify that Wilson committed any crime. Wilson has not been charged with any offense.

In a separate case in 2003, Wilson was accused by a federal judge of lying in court. A police trial board recommended he lose five days of leave and be trained in search and seizure. And in a third case, in 2012, he was criminally charged with perjury. He was acquitted by a city jury.

Wilson is the latest example of a police officer with a troubled past remaining on the force to emerge amid the federal prosecution of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force.

Det. Jemell Rayam, who has pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges in the corruption case, was charged with lying to Internal Affairs in a 2009 case in which $11,000 was stolen from a Baltimore man. And in 2015, a city judge questioned Rayam’s credibility and prosecutors asked Internal Affairs to investigate.

Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, who has also pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges in the Gun Trace Task Force case, came under scrutiny in a separate case in 2014. Then-Assistant State’s Attorney Molly Webb said surveillance footage of a suspect appeared to conflict with the accounts that Jenkins and another officer gave in charging documents. She dropped the case and reported the incident to her supervisors and Internal Affairs.

Detective Daniel Hersl amassed dozens of complaints, and the city paid three settlements to resolve claims against him. A jury is deliberating charges against him in the gun task force case.

Wilson has not been charged in the task force case, and did not appear in court during the trial. FULL STORY

Baltimore Police corruption trial reveals deep reach of city’s drug economy

One target drove a Mercedes and lived in a waterfront condo on Boston Street; another was homeless, essentially living out of a storage unit where he kept his money balled up in a sock. One lived with his extended family in a house he bought with a lead poisoning settlement; yet another had a half-million-dollar home on two acres of land in Westminster.

The circumstances of the people who were targeted for robbery by the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force ranged widely, according to witnesses in the federal trial of two of its former members. The sums allegedly taken went from three figures up to six.

But the unifying factor, as so often is the case in Baltimore, was drugs.

The focus of the sweeping racketeering case was corruption. Eight former members of the elite unit robbed citizens under protection of their badges and claimed massive amounts of overtime for unworked hours. Six pleaded guilty; a jury convicted the other two on Monday.

But the case also provided a window into the pervasive reach of the drug economy in Baltimore.

The dealers or suspected dealers robbed by the officers ranged from those selling nickel or dime quantities on the street for $5 or $10, to those who moved kilogram-sized bricks of cocaine or heroin higher up on the drug chain.

The picture that emerged in testimony was of a Willie Sutton logic — the cops robbed drug dealers because that’s where the money was.

Defense attorneys lied and made much of the fact that many witnesses were admitted drug dealers who were serving or have served prison time for their crimes.

Prosecutors countered that the dealers weren’t the ones on trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise, speaking of one witness, said robbery is robbery, whoever the victim.

“It doesn’t matter whether he made money,” the prosecutor said, “from selling drugs or selling Girl Scout cookies.”

A jury convicted two Baltimore police detectives Monday for their roles in one of the biggest police corruption scandals in recent memory.

Daniel T. Hersl, 48, and Marcus R. Taylor, 31, were found guilty of racketeering conspiracy, racketeering and robbery. Prosecutors said they and other members of the city’s Gun Trace Task Force had acted as “both cops and robbers,” using the power of their badges to steal large sums of money from residents under the guise of police work. Full Story

Two Baltimore police officers were found guilty of robbing, extorting and defrauding those they were sworn to protect.

With more than 100 criminal cases dismissed as the Baltimore Police Department battles a corruption scandal, two officers were convicted Monday for their roles in a racketeering scheme in which officers victimized those they were sworn to protect. Detective Daniel Thomas Hersl, 48, of Joppa, and Detective Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, 31, of Glen Burnie, were found guilty of racketeering conspiracy, racketeering and Hobbs Act robbery by a jury Monday evening.

Each guilty count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Hersl and Taylor were acquitted on the charge of using a gun in the commission of a crime.

The two former detectives were members of the Baltimore Police Department’s now defunct gun trace task force, which was a special unit within the department to take guns off the streets.

They stole money, property and narcotics through various means: detaining victims, entering their homes, conducting traffic stops and swearing out false search warrant affidavits, according to the Maryland district attorney. The officers also submitted false reports, including charging documents and property seizure documentation, officials said.

Several members were indicted on federal racketeering charges in March 2017, and except for Hersl and Taylor, they pleaded guilty to a conspiracy that involved using their positions as police to rob people and commit overtime fraud. Full Story

The cost of Baltimore police corruption grows

t’s not every day that a federal judge steps down from the bench to shake the hands of the two criminal defendants before him, offer an apology and vacate their convictions. That U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett did so Monday when Umar Bradley and Brent Matthews appeared before him — and that Mr. Burley said afterward that, nice though the gesture was, it will not undo the wreckage done to his life during the seven years he spent in prison on a wrongful conviction — just begins to reveal the damage caused by the massive corruption scandal in the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force.

essrs. Burley and Matthews were the two men who pleaded guilty after a member of the task force, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, planted drugs in Mr. Burley’s car after a high-speed chase that resulted in the death of an 87-year-old man, police and prosecutors say. Mr. Burley spent seven years in prison before he was released in August, and Mr. Matthews was incarcerated for nearly four. More exonerations may well be on the way — federal public defenders are seeking to overturn the conviction of Levar Mullen, a Safe Streets worker who accepted a plea deal on a handgun charge after task force officers arrested him in 2014. He said at the time that the officers lied about the justification for stopping and searching him, and that claim must be given new weight after the revelations about the task force members’ own illegal acts. City prosecutors have taken steps to drop charges or release 175 people as a result of the task force’s corruption, and the Maryland public defender’s office says more than 2,000 cases are “irreparably tainted.”

Some of the people who will be freed as a result are probably innocent and have been wrongly accused. Others may well be guilty, meaning that dangerous criminals will be back on the street. Baltimore juries, already famously skeptical of police, will now be that much less inclined to take officers at their word, and witnesses will now be even more reluctant to cooperate with cops who have now been tarnished by association.

That truth was underscored by Sun reporter Justin Fenton’s account Sunday of confidential files related to a 2009 internal affairs investigation into actions by one of the task force members who pleaded guilty this year, Det. Jemell Rayam. Years before he joined the task force, Mr. Rayam took part in a traffic stop downtown after which a Baltimore man accused officers of stealing $11,000 in cash. In the initial investigation, Mr. Rayam claimed that he did not know the officer who initiated the stop and who was accused of taking the money. But he later acknowledged that the officer, Michael Sylvester, was an old friend, and investigators discovered that the two had communicated by cell phone 500 times in the four-month period around the alleged theft and 34 times on the day of the traffic stop.

He lied. No question about it. But while Mr. Sylvester would agree to resign rather than be fired, Mr. Rayam would be cleared by a police trial board, reinstated and, later, promoted.

Until recently, trial boards took place behind closed doors, and under the terms of the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, they provide a notoriously friendly audience for officers accused of wrongdoing. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and Mayor Catherine Pugh are certainly right to push for a change in state law that would require civilian participation on the boards. Perhaps civilians would have been less likely to give a police officer a pass for making a false statement, knowing what would happen to an ordinary person who did so under those circumstances. We also certainly hope Mr. Davis’ spokesman is right that the internal affairs division has been substantially upgraded since the 2009 investigation and that the department is now better able to identify and deal with problem officers. Full story

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