Baltimore city state’s attorney may be tossing out thousands of criminal cases involving the corrupt Baltimore Police Department gun trace task force, WJZ-TV reported.
Prosecutors first estimated fewer than 300 cases would require dismissal after the convictions of Officers Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor on racketeering charges last month. Also, six other officers on the task force pled guilty to corruption charges.
City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force affected many more cases than prosecutors initially believed.
“It could be, possibly and potentially, thousands of cases,” Mosby said.
Of the 284 cases initially investigated, prosecutors dropped 187 linked to the crooked cops who spent years robbing people and covering up their crimes. Of those reviewed cases, four of the defendants had already died.
Could there be even more tainted cases?
Assistant Public Defender Debbie Katz Levi, who has estimated roughly 2,000 cases could be affected, told WJZ that she applauds Mosby's efforts, but believes every case linked to the tainted task force should be pitched out.
“I have no reason to believe it’s over,” Katz Levi said. “We think their mere presence challenges the integrity of every conviction in which they were involved.”
“Understanding and recognizing that public safety is our No. 1 priority. We’re not just going in and getting rid of every case these officers are involved in,” Mosby said.
More cases could be in jeopardy since there's a chance more officers could face indictments.
“We keep telling all of our clients, ‘It may take some time, but we’re not going to forget about you, and we’re not going to stop working for justice for you,'” Katz Levi said.
Did Mosby know about the corruption before the indictments?
Mosby has denied knowing about the corruption taking place inside the department.
“We learned about the criminality of those officers the same time as everyone else. Undermining public trust is a huge problem, and we take it very seriously,” she said.
During the federal trial involving Hersl and Taylor, witnesses implicated other officers on the Baltimore Police Department.
It's not clear whether those officers will face indictments.
The eight former officers haven't yet been sentenced.