Public defenders said up to 2,000 criminal cases are connected to eight Baltimore cops charged with federal racketeering, a figure disputed by prosecutors, CNN reported.
The public defender’s office compiled the figure by going back to the year when the officers’ corruption began, based on the indictments, said Debbie Katz Levi, who oversees the office’s Special Litigation Section, adding that “We’re not using a secret formula.”
The officers at the center of this controversy were members of the Gun Trace Task Force, a special unit within the Baltimore Police Department that focused on investigating firearms offenses. Seven of them were arrested in March for allegedly claiming fraudulent overtime, filing false affidavits and robbing people of their money—many of the residents were not suspected of committing a crime. The eighth officer was arrest in August for similar offenses. New charges were filed last week against the unit’s leader Sgt. Wayne Jenkins. Prosecutors accuse him of orchestrating a plan to plant drugs on a suspected drug dealer.
Meanwhile, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City disputes that 2,000-case figure. The prosecutor said that a total of 846 cases have been or will be impacted by police misconduct. That figure includes 277 cases related to the indicted former task force officers. In addition to the eight indicted officers, several other Baltimore cops are accused of misconduct that was caught on body cams. “We will continue to share the progress of this comprehensive review of the impacted cases with the community,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said. She emphasized that transparency is key to maintaining the public’s trust.