BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The police corruption trial is over, but the fallout continues. Eight Baltimore Police Department officers have either admitted to or were found guilty of abusing their badges.
Now, a planned civil suit claims there are still law breaking cops on the force.
The attorneys behind the suit tell WJZ’s Amy Yensi the city could’ve done more to prevent it.
Monday, a jury found detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor guilty of federal racketeering and other crimes.
In a soon to be filed civil lawsuit, attorneys say their client, April Simms, was one of the many victims of the rogue gun trace task force.
Surveillance video shows Hersl and Sgt. Wayne Jenkins – who was one of six other officers who admitted to targeting the very citizens they swore to protect – moments after an illegal sting. The pair allegedly ransacked and robbed a boxful of stolen items from Simm’s apartment.
“And came back with some sort of warrant, and then did an official search after they had stolen her items from her home,” said Tony Garcias, who is Simms’ attorney.
[Reporter: “What does that say about the criminal justice system in Baltimore?”] “It appears that there’s a pattern and practice that’s been going on for a long time, and it needs to be corrected,” said attorney Michael Glass.
Simms does not want to speak on camera, but the drug charges against her were eventually dropped.
A state’s attorney spokesperson tells WJZ in a statement, they charged Simms because they found “overwhelming evidence against the defendants, which included 390 grams of heroin recovered at the scene….We had to dismiss these charges in the interest of justice. This is yet another example of hundreds of cases where police corruption has impeded our city’s ability to deliver justice on behalf of its citizens.”
Attorneys claim the city was warned about corruption before the federal investigation, pointing to a polygraph test they say proves an officer lied to a judge.
Attorneys also point to a memo from a state’s attorney staffer, who reported an officer may have threatened a woman with a gun to her head.
The police department has launched its own corruption investigation.
“The problem is all those bad apples start to add up,” Garcias added. “It doesn’t add up to an apple pie, it adds up to a big pile of rotten apples, and you’ve got to get rid of them.”
The attorney’s say they are exploring the possibility of suing the state’s attorney’s office.
There are thousands of other criminal cases that are in jeopardy because they were handled by the tainted officers.