Tag Archives: Disband Police

Following Corruption Trial, Maryland Lawmaker Proposes Disbanding Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore, MD— After one of the most prominent police corruption cases in Baltimore history concluded with guilty verdicts for former Baltimore Police Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, who were charged with racketeering, Maryland state delegate Bilal Ali proposed that the Baltimore Police Department “be disbanded and reorganized from the ground up.”

The convictions of Hersl and Taylor are the final two convictions related to the Federal prosecution of 16 officers and civilians in a massive corruption scandal inside the Baltimore Police Department.

According to a report by The Daily Caller:

“Six members of the city’s elite Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) pleaded guilty to stealing from civilians and selling confiscated guns and drugs back onto the streets. They in turn testified against the remaining two members who claimed innocence. A five-man drug crew, a bail bondsman, and two other civilians have also been convicted, The Baltimore Sun reported. The corrupt officers have yet to be sentenced, but their actions have tainted as many as 850 cases and could result in overturned convictions.

Former-Detective Maurice Ward, a GTTF member, testified in January that the group would routinely carry BB guns in their vehicles just in case they needed to plant one on a crime scene. Ward testified to other shocking acts of corruption by the GTTF as well.”

“We recognize that this indictment and subsequent trial uncovered some of the most egregious and despicable acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement,” Acting Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said Monday. “Let me make it clear: I have zero tolerance for corruption.”

[RELATED: Former Detective Sues Baltimore Police Department and Commissioner, Alleging Retaliation From Colleagues For Testifying About Police Abuse]

Maryland State Delegate Bilal Ali proposed to Mayor Catherine Pugh and De Sousa that the department be disbanded, noting that other municipalities have had success in starting over from square one.

“In 2013 Camden [New Jersey] disbanded its police department in response to record-breaking levels of violence and an extremely inefficient police budget,” Ali wrote. “Four years later, Camden hit its lowest homicide rate in 30-years.”

Last year, Baltimore recorded its highest-ever per capita homicide rate, with a total of 342 murders.

“I’m aware that considering such enormous action may give City residents reason to pause, but the level of corruption and mismanagement at BPD has created a crisis of public confidence that simply cannot foster the productive relationship between community and police that public safety depends on,” Ali’s letter noted.

“We now face a once-in-a-lifetime level of dysfunction that requires us to seriously consider once-in-a-lifetime solutions. Of course, the first step to any solution that the City embraces must be an honest and open dialogue with the public, so that Baltimore residents can inform the policies that will define public safety in the City for years to come. You can read my full letter to Mayor Pugh and Commissioner-Designate De Sousa in the attached documents. The time for platitudes and vague statements is over. The time for bold action and concrete ideas is now.”

[RELATED: Retired Baltimore Cop Exposes Police Corruption on Joe Rogan’s Podcast]

On Wednesday morning, Pugh rejected Ali’s proposal.

“I’m not disbanding the police department,” Pugh said. “We’re trending downward. I think we’re headed in the right direction. We’ve appointed a new police commissioner, we have a 163-page report by the Department of Justice that requires us to reform the police department, and those are the things that we’ll continue to do.”

Although De Sousa claims the department is headed in the right direction, the unsolved murder of Sean Suiter, a Baltimore police officer turned whistleblower who was mysteriously shot and killed the day before he was set to testify in relation to this case, leaves a cloud of suspicion over the Baltimore Police Department. It has been roughly three months since Suiter was murdered and there are no leads or suspects. Previously, the longest a suspected cop killer had ever evaded Baltimore police was 5 days.

Residents of New Hampshire Town Submit Petition to Disband Police Department

Following Police Chief John LaRoche’s August arrest on sexual assault charges, residents of Canterbury, New Hampshire have submitted a petition to disband the town’s police department and replace it with coverage by state or county law enforcement agencies.

The above-embedded WMUR-TV video notes that Chief LaRoche has been indicted on 10 felony counts in connection to allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl over fifteen years ago while working as a police officer in Boscawen, N.H. The alleged victim was reportedly a participant in that department’s Explorer program aimed at showing youths what it would be like to be a law enforcement officer.

LaRoche pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

[RELATED: Under Federal Investigation, Chicago PD Releases Controversial Videos of Officer Conduct]

On Monday, locals submitted a petition at the meeting of the Canterbury Board of Selectmen calling for the town’s police department to be disbanded. According to The Concord Monitor, 106 residents signed the petition, well above the 25 mark required to force a vote on the issue.

It’s probably not within the authority of the selectmen to dissolve the police department – that would be a town meeting thing,” said Board of Selectmen Chairman Bob Steenson, suggesting that the petition tactic may fail in its ultimate goal.

In addition to the allegations against Chief LaRoche, the approximately 70 residents at the meeting offered a variety of complaints about the town’s police force.

Petition organizer Joe Halla told WMUR-TV, “It’s apparent to me there is no supervision in the department. They are not responsible for their behavior. If there’s an SOP, they don’t follow it.

[RELATED: Police Union Calls Officer Drug, Alcohol Testing ‘Illegal Search and Seizure’]

Describing some of the complaints that were brought up at the meeting, the Concord Monitor’s Elodie Reed wrote, “Police suggesting the victim of a theft ask the suspected thief to meet with an officer; police telling a woman she had been ‘watching too much CSI’ when she asked whether fingerprints could be taken from a rock that was thrown through her windshield; police asking a person whether she really wanted them to look for her stolen car, which was an ‘older model.'”

Dozens of meeting attendees went on to share additional complaints about the four officers that make up the town’s police department.

Town officials say that until Chief LaRoche resigns, they are powerless to reform the police department.

Chairman Bob Steenson, who noted that the board is working to push LaRoche out of his position, said, “We’re making a renewed effort to see if we can move on and resolve the issue. John LaRoche needs to do the right thing and resign for this community.