By Chuck Ross
Two correctional officers who work at the Baltimore City jail were suspended without pay Wednesday after video emerged showing them looting a 7-11 store during last month’s riots.
Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard were charged with theft and two counts of burglary, according to a statement released by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS).
Investigators DPSCS and with the Intelligence and Investigative Division responded to a tip that the pair had joined in looting a closed 7-11 convenience store near downtown Baltimore on April 25. That was the first day of major unrest following the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Investigators viewed video from the store and identified Richard and Cobb leaving with merchandise. According to The Baltimore Sun, the video showed Richard and Cobb exiting the store with Slim Jims and Tostitos, respectively. Richard is seen wearing yellow sneakers while Cobb is wearing a dark jacket.
According to the statement, the women worked at a Division of Correction facility located in downtown Baltimore. They were placed on leave without pay since their charges include felonies.
“Our Intelligence and Investigative Division did an outstanding job, immediately following-up on this tip,” said Stephen Moyer, secretary of DPSCS. “We will not allow the vast majority of our employees who are honest and hardworking to be tainted by the actions of a few.”
This is not the first scandal to rock the Baltimore city jailhouse. In April 2013, a federal indictment was unsealed which revealed a massive conspiracy between correctional officers and inmates.
Twenty-four correctional officers have been convicted for various offenses related to their involvement with the notorious Black Guerilla Family gang. Many of the officers had sexual relations with the gang members and helped them smuggle drugs into the facility.