BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a scandal that rocked the Baltimore City Police Department. A group of officers indicted, accused of terrorizing citizens by robbing and illegally detaining them.
Now, new details show one of the officers was at the center of an internal affairs investigation with similar allegations years before.
Detective Jemell Rayam pleaded guilty in one of the department’s biggest scandals.
According our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, years before, he was at the center of another investigation, only to be cleared, returned to duty, and then promoted.
From an elite gun unit, to behind bars. Despite his family defending him, the movie-like script continues for former Baltimore PD detective Jemell Rayam.
Just months after admitting to terrorizing citizens and committing robbery after robbery, our media partner The Baltimore Sun uncovered that Rayam was involved in similar allegations years before.
In 2009, a Baltimore man reported that officers took $11,000 from him during a traffic stop.
Rayam acknowledged he took part in the stop, but denied knowing the officer accused of stealing the money.
Cell phone records showed otherwise, and Rayam later admitted the two were classmates and friends.
Rayam was charged internally with making a false statement, only to be cleared by a police trial board, and later promoted.
What some say should’ve been a teaching moment for Rayam.
“What you see is a lack of respect for the system,” Rod Rosenstein said back in March.
Instead, prosecutors say he and seven other officers were part of a unit that went rogue, committing more than a dozen robberies and filing for overtime never worked. Some doubled their salaries. Rayam pleaded guilty in October.
“I think he’s doing fine, there’s a lot more that’s going to happen, sentencing is in a few months,” said attorney Dennis Boyle.
The new details are raising serious questions about how Baltimore PD is policing itself.
Baltimore police declined to comment on the 2009 investigation, but say they have better processes in place to flag problem officers, adding that the agency has worked hard to develop an early warning system that identifies complaints against officers.
Five of the eight officers involved in the scandal have pleaded guilty.