Just as Baltimore believed that they were getting back to the basics of law enforcement and public trust, a shocking development has occurred.
It was just yesterday that we reported on a promising new re-evolution of the embattled Baltimore Police Department. The city itself has been suffering from a violent crime spree for decades, stemming from powerful drug gangs, crooked cops, and the heavy weight of the cash that flowed between the two. Just a few years ago, Baltimore was forced to discontinue their plainclothes police program due to this corruption.
Now, the Baltimore Police are considering reopening that particular branch of law enforcement to combat the rampant crime they face, but damning allegations from an ongoing trial could cause a wrinkle to develop in that plan.
“Last week, the beginning of an explosive corruption trial involving eight members of Baltimore’s elite Gun Trace Task Force revealed that a handful of Baltimore cops allegedly kept fake guns in their patrol cars to plant on innocent people—a failsafe they could use if they happened to shoot an unarmed suspect, the Baltimore Sun reports.
“Detective Maurice Ward, who’s already pleaded guilty to corruption charges, testified that he and his partners were told to carry the replicas and BB guns ‘in case we accidentally hit somebody or got into a shootout, so we could plant them.’ The directive allegedly came from the team’s sergeant, Wayne Jenkins, the Washington Post reports. Though Ward didn’t say whether or not the tactic was ever used, Detective Marcus Taylor—another cop swept up in the scandal—was carrying a fake gun almost identical to his service weapon when he was arrested last year, according to the Sun.”
Just how big a problem has this been? No one is quite sure, but over the course of 2015 and 2016 alone, Baltimore police were involved in over eighty fatal shootings involving perpetrators with “replica” weapons, not including the infamous case of thirteen year old Tamir Rice in 2014.