The shockingly heinous story of corruption in the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF)—lead by Sergeant Wayne Jenkins.
*Soon to be an HBO series starring Jon Bernthal*
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• In a survey of the 3,200 officers on the force, nearly a quarter said they believed the number of officers stealing money or drugs was greater than a quarter of the department.
• The nationwide crack epidemic saw violent crime in Baltimore rise by 53% from 1985 to 1993, and the city experienced more than 300 homicides every year of the 1990s even as its population was declining.
• The GTTF often took peoples keys and searched their cars or homes without warrants.
•Sometimes they would get warrants by creating their own evidence. When they stopped a suspected drug dealer, Jenkins would go through the man’s phone, reading text messages, and then would call his own burner phone registered under a fake name. They would lie and say a confidential source had a phone conversation talking about buying drugs and get the warrant signed.
• Jenkins would often collect and keep all the drugs they seized, saying he would submit them to Evidence before heading home.
• Jenkins was raking in $170,000 in city pay between his salary, overtime pay, and the fraudulent overtime work.
• BPD had problems with unconstitutional stops and searches, disproportionately targeting black people with minimal supervision and accountability. BPD made roughly 44% of it stops in two small, predominantly African-American districts that contain only 11% of the city’s population.
• One black man in his mid-50s was stopped 30 times in less than four years—with none of the stops resulting in a citation or criminal charge.
• The GTTF units corruption affected 1,700 criminal cases.
• In all, eight members of the Gun Trace Task Force had been sentenced to federal prison— and seven other current or former officers, including the one time commissioner, had been charged with federal crimes.
• Jenkins was sentence to 25 years for multiple counts of racketeering, robbery and falsification of records and is scheduled to be released in January 2039.
• “A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” -Gene Fowler