A former Baltimore Police Department sergeant has been indicted for allegedly planting a pellet gun on a suspect who was deliberately run over by a fellow sergeant in 2014. The second sergeant was the leader of a now-defunct corrupt elite task force within the department, and was later convicted of several crimes.
What are the details?
Now-retired Sgt. Keith Gladstone pleaded not guilty to federal civil rights and witness tampering charges on Tuesday, stemming from an incident that happened five years ago.
The indictment alleges Gladstone responded to a call from Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, who was in a panic because he had just intentionally run over a suspect during an arrest. According to prosecutors, Gladstone arrived at the crime scene and planted a BB gun near the suspect, who was alive but on the ground and unable to move his legs due to his injuries.
The injured man was "subsequently charged with possession, use, and discharge of a gas or pellet gun" because of the gun Gladstone brought and left near him, according to the Department of Justice. He was also charged with drug possession, but all charges were later dismissed.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison suspended another three officers named in the Gladstone indictment, saying the department would conduct internal investigations regarding their involvement. A fourth officer listed in the document will also be investigated by the Internal Affairs section, but they were already on suspension before the indictment.
Harrison is newly appointed, and the fifth police chief for Baltimore in four years, The New York Times reported.
"The allegations outlined today in court are beyond disturbing, and speak to a culture that I am here to change," the commissioner said, in a statement regarding Gladstone's arrest.
Jenkins was the leader of the Gun Trace Task Force, a corrupt operation that was eventually disbanded after nearly all the officers involved were indicted on federal racketeering charges and numerous other offenses. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for after being found guilty of numerous crimes he committed while operating the Task Force, including drug dealing and robbery, "Good Morning America" reported.
Under Jenkins' leadership, the task force robbed citizens, bilked the public by fraudulently billing hundreds of hours of overtime, and habitually conducted illegal arrests.