They weren't cops—they were "1930s-style gangsters," according to their police chief. Seven Baltimore officers who were part of an elite task force created to take illegal guns off the street have been charged in a corruption scandal after a yearlong investigation, reports the Baltimore Sun. Some examples of the alleged wrongdong of Momodu Gondo, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl, Wayne Jenkins, Jemell Rayam, Marcus Taylor, and Maurice Ward, via the Sun, the AP, WBAL, and CNN:
- The officers allegedly stopped someone leaving a storage facility, falsely claimed to have a warrant, and took $2,000 from a sock containing $4,800. "He won't say nothing," Rayam is recorded as saying, making a joke about the man being "taxed." (A police car was bugged.)
- Four of the officers allegedly arrested a man at a traffic stop and took $21,500 from him, but turned in only $15,000. Prosecutors say they later went to the man's home and stole $200,000, plus a $4,000 wristwatch.
- In another unspecified incident, the officers allegedly stole $70,000 and divided it among themselves.
- The officers pulled a man over and took $1,700 and drugs from him, but filed no incident report about the stop, say prosecutors.
- Gondo was once recorded telling Rayam that he had switched off his body camera before knocking a phone out of a woman's hand. "I turned the camera off," Gondo said. "Oh yeah," said Rayam. "So, basically it's like you were never here."
- Gondo is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin.
- The officers were allegedly recorded boasting about collecting OT on days they didn't work. Jenkins almost doubled his $85,400 salary with $83,300 in overtime pay in 2016, Hersl made $66,600 over his $77,600 salary, and Taylor made $56,200 over his $66,800 salary.
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