World News

Baltimore police guilty in corruption trial

Baltimore police guilty in corruption trial

A USA federal jury found two former members of a reprobate Baltimore police unit guilty on a slew of corruption charges including stealing from drug dealers, media reported.

On Monday, Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, former detectives of the department's Gun Trace Task Force, were found guilty by a federal jury for racketeering, conspiracy and robbery, according to CBS Baltimore.

While the two detectives were led out of U.S. District Court in Baltimore, some of Hersl's relatives burst into tears, while one of his victims called out: "Justice".

The two detectives were each convicted of racketeering conspiracy, racketeering and robbery under the federal Hobbs Act, which prohibits interference with interstate commerce.

Hersl and Taylor may be given up to 60 years in prison at sentencing. "We hope that police officers live up to the honor and privilege of the badge", he said. But instead the squad went rogue, stealing cash and guns and reselling drugs. But when the cops are found doing it, we face the prospect of damaging the social contract which makes law and order possible.

While the two investigators pleaded not guilty, six other Baltimore police officers pleaded guilty to similar charges, and it was through the testimony of four of them that the convictions arose, National Public Radio said.

Taylor's defense team and his relatives did not immediately speak to reporters after the Monday evening verdict.

Ward said when the task force was out patrolling, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins - who also pleaded guilty - would quickly drive toward a group of people, notably those who were carrying backpacks (as according to them, why would anyone need a backpack but to transport illicit items), pop open their doors and would chase after those who were caught off guard and took off running.

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A small-time drug dealer, Sergio Summerville, said Hersl came to his storage unit downtown "like a gang" and would regularly ask him for money and whom he had been in contact with.

His subordinates testified that the onetime amateur mixed martial arts fighter told his officers to carry BB guns in case they ever needed to plant weapons and occasionally posed as a federal agent when shaking down targets.

Former colleagues said Mr. Jenkins's sledgehammer approach to policing extended to having actual sledgehammers - along with crowbars, grappling hooks, black masks and even a machete - stored in his police-issued vehicle to ramp up illegal activities.

At the time, officers used their authority to commit various crimes such as conducting illegal searchers, holding up drug dealers, locking up innocent people and claiming unearned overtime, NBC news reported.

Mr. Schenning said he was thankful the jurors saw through that. Four of them testified against their ex-colleagues, along with drug dealers who struck deals for more lenient punishments.

Mr. Purpura did not deny that his client took money but said the thefts did not rise to the more serious charges of robbery or extortion.

Del. Bilal Ali, a Baltimore Democrat, is sponsoring a bill to grant a person at least $50,000 for each year they are wrongly imprisoned, with a maximum award of $5 million.


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