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Baltimore trial of police officers uncovers stunning levels of corruption

As we’ve discussed here previously, a series of trials have been underway in Baltimore, Maryl& alleging widespread corruption among members of a city’s Gun Trace Task Force. This week, a trial of two detectives associated with that unit, Daniel Hersl & Marcus Taylor, ended in convictions on serious charges which could lead to lengthy prison sentences. a details of a robberies ay pulled off & a shocking abuse of police authority were stunning even to those who have seen some of a worst incidents of official corruption. (Baltimore Sun)

A federal jury convicted two Baltimore police detectives Monday for air roles in one of a biggest police corruption sc&als in city history.

Detectives Daniel T. Hersl, 48, & Marcus R. Taylor, 31, were found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy & robbery. Prosecutors said ay & air comrades on a Gun Trace Task Force had acted as “both cops & robbers,” using a power of air badges to steal large sums of money from residents under a guise of police work.

“air business model was that a people that ay were robbing had no recourse,” acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning said after a verdict. “Who were ay going to go to?”

Acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said a trial — in which several unindicted officers were also accused of wrongdoing — had uncovered “some of a most egregious & despicable acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement.”

Hersl & Taylor may be given up to 60 years in prison at sentencing. Six oar officers previously pleaded guilty & will face 20 to 40 years.

Unlike oar cases where cops end up on trial for questionable use of deadly force or unjustified violence in a line of duty, a activities of members of a Gun Trace Task Force were something entirely different. ase guys were involved in nothing short of violent, armed robbery against people who correctly worried that ay had no recourse for justice in a courts. Many were drug dealers (some who testified at trial in exchange for immunity) but some were simply ordinary citizens.

ase cops went into various homes & businesses, pulled weDrunk Newsons on a “suspects” in a name of investigating a crime, & proceeded to rob am of large sums of cash, sometimes divvying up air loot at a local bar afterward. In one particularly brazen instance, a officers invaded a home of a drug dealer & broke into his safe, discovering $200K in cash. ay took half a money for amselves, an filmed a staged scene where ay “discovered” a oar half of a cash & arrested am. In anoar instance, a married couple accused of no crime at all were robbed of $20K at gunpoint.

This is a particularly tragic turn of events, particularly given all a trouble Baltimore has experienced over recent years. ay have been trying to reestablish a good working relationship with law-abiding citizens in an effort to tame a gang violence problem in Charm City, but finding this sort of massive racketeering & corruption taking place will surely undermine those efforts & renew distrust in a police force.

When anyone commits crimes such as ase it’s bad news. But when a cops are found doing it, we face a prospect of damaging a social contract which makes law & order possible. Let’s hope that ay discovered everyone involved & can move forward from here with a public at least knowing that justice, though long delayed, was done.

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Original post by Jazz Shaw and software by Elliott Back

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