BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The explosive investigation that put seven city officers behind bars, accused of used their positions to steal from the public.
The family of detective Daniel Hersl met with him in jail on Saturday, they are now trying to defend his reputation to WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren, saying “the charges are bogus.”
Jerome Hersl says he’s still in shock about the accusations facing his brother, Detective Daniel Hersl, who’s been a cop for almost 20 years.
Federal prosecutors accuse him and six other officers of stealing from people while on the job and billing the city for thousands of dollars in fake overtime.
Jerome met WJZ at the spot outside city hall, where their other brother Matthew, died after a repeat offender fleeing police ran him over with a car. Jerome says that traumatic event changed the way Detective Hersl approached his job.
“He took it to heart that he was going to give it a better effort to clean the city up of drugs,” he says. “He loved his job. He’d never sacrifice his integrity.”
Jerome visited his brother for the first time since the indictment and says the officers are all being kept together.
“The minds of these police officers. They’re frazzled. So they put them in one room, and they watch them. What they’re trying to do is get one police officer to turn on the other six,” he says.
He accuses U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein of bringing the charges for political reasons.Rosenstein’s confirmation hearing to become deputy attorney general starts this week.
“He needs a headline and he got it. It’s just convenient that he got it before he’s going down to Washington,” says Jerome Hersl.
“They picked out who they thought some of the dirty cops were and they put them in a group, and that group was the gun task force. I’m scratching my head and saying if these were dirty cops at that time, why didn’t you charge them, why didn’t you put them in jail?”
Rosenstein said when announcing the charges, his only motivation was getting corrupt cops off the streets.
“This kind of conduct by police officers tarnishes the reputations of all police officers,” U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein at a press conference earlier this week.
Hersl and the other six officers remain behind bars. Mayor Catherine Pugh is now calling for an audit of police overtime.