US Baltimore police trial: Closing arguments set to begin

19:22  07 february  2018
19:22  07 february  2018 Source:   MSN

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys are set to make their closing arguments in the trial of two Baltimore The case involves one of the worst U.S. police corruption scandals in recent memory. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.

This undated photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department shows Daniel Hersl, one of seven police officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force who are charged with stealing money, property and narcotics from people over the course of two years. © Baltimore Police Department This undated photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department shows Daniel Hersl, one of seven police officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force who are charged with stealing money, property and narcotics from people over the course of two years. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin after 11 a.m. in the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force trial in U.S. District Court.

Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor are fighting charges that include racketeering conspiracy, robbery and firearms charges, with prosecutors saying they used their badge to rob citizens.

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Closing arguments began Monday in the first of six criminal trials for Baltimore police officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray.

Federal prosecutors put on more than 30 witnesses, including convicted officers who admitted their roles in brazen robberies, as well as drug dealers given immunity to testify that officers took cash and kilograms of drugs from them.

The evidence depicted a dysfunctional police department where officers did not fear repercussions and confidently lied in official paperwork and in court to cover their tracks. The New York Times called the case “one of the most startling police corruption scandals in a generation.”

The defense called just three total witnesses. In opening statements, Hersl’s attorney said his client admitted wrongdoing, but added that he believed he had probable cause to legally seize items and that taking money was theft, which is not a federal crime.

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys are set to make their closing arguments in the trial of two Baltimore The case involves one of the worst U.S. police corruption scandals in recent memory. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.

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Taylor’s attorneys had warned jurors not to trust the government’s witnesses.

This undated photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department shows Marcus Taylor, one of seven police officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force who are charged with stealing money, property and narcotics from people over the course of two years. © Baltimore Police Department This undated photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department shows Marcus Taylor, one of seven police officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force who are charged with stealing money, property and narcotics from people over the course of two years. Some of the officers who took the stand admitted to committing crimes dating back to 2008. Much of the case focused on the Gun Trace Task Force’s sergeant, Wayne Jenkins, who the convicted officers said had an insatiable appetite to hunt down those he called “monsters” — drug dealers with large amounts of cash. They said Jenkins regularly encouraged illegal police tactics such as driving fast at large groups of young men to see who would run, profiling certain types of vehicles, and making unjustified stops and searches.

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys are set to make their closing arguments in the trial of two Baltimore The case involves one of the worst U.S. police corruption scandals in recent memory. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.

One officer said Jenkins encouraged them to carry BB guns to plant on people; a BB gun was recovered from Taylor’s vehicle. The officers were said to blatantly put in for thousands of dollars in unworked overtime pay, starting their shifts late and claiming to work hours when they were at home or even on vacation.

Detective Maurice Ward testified that in the spring of 2015, he was with Jenkins and Taylor when the officers interrupted a large marijuana transaction at the Belvedere Towers apartment complex. The officers took more than 20 pounds of marijuana and more than $20,000 cash, then drove to Southwest Baltimore and went into the woods to split the money. Jenkins had claimed he was a federal agent and told the participants of the drug deal that he was letting them go without charges.

In July 2016, the officers allegedly used an illegal GPS tracker to chart the movements of a suspected drug dealer, then pulled him and his wife over in Baltimore County. He had nothing illegal, but told the officers he had large amounts of cash at his home in Carroll County. The officers found the money in a closet, took it before local authorities arrived on the scene, and split it up later at a bar. Officers testified that Hersl was among the officers who took money.

Prosecutors also said Taylor took part in filming a fake video in March 2016 of the officers breaking open a safe and finding $100,000. Ward testified that the safe had already been broken into before the video, with the officers taking $100,000.

Throughout testimony, the testifying officers have implicated other uncharged officers in wrongdoing. Among them was Det. Sean Suiter, who was fatally shot one day before he was set to testify before a grand jury investigating the task force and misconduct in the police department. Suiter’s death remains unsolved despite a $215,000 reward. Detective Momodu Gondo said he had stolen money with Suiter and other officers.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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A voice for calm during Baltimore riots has died .
The stepfather of a black man whose death in police custody sparked riots in Baltimore has died. Richard "Rick" Shipley spoke for the family of Freddie Gray, calling for calm in the city after his stepson suffered a fatal spinal cord injury in April 2015."Whoever comes to our city -- a city that we love, a city that we live in -- come in peace. If you are not coming in peace, please don't come at all," Shipley said as sections of the inner city burned. "Because this city needs to get back to work.

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