Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has begun the process of asking the courts to throw out 790 criminal cases handled by 25 of the city’s police officers, including eight convicted on corruption charges in the Gun Trace Task Force trial and 3 officers currently on the force, the Baltimore Sun reports.
According to prosecutors, the 25 police officers abused their authority to rob suspects of guns and drug money, and more officers could be named as investigations continue.
“[This] is not over, this is just the first phase,” Mosby said on Friday.
Robert Hankard, who has been suspended, is a detective in central Baltimore; Kenneth Ivery is a sergeant in Southwest Baltimore; and Jason Giordano is a sergeant in the citywide robbery unit. At least 10 officers named have resigned; one retired and one was fired, the Sun reports. Another officer, Detective Sean Suiter, was shot to death nearly two years ago in West Baltimore.
“When you have sworn police officers involved in egregious and long-standing criminal activity such as planting guns and drugs, stealing drugs and money, selling drugs, making illegal arrests, and bringing false charges, our legal and ethical obligation in the pursuit of justice leaves us no other recourse but to ‘right the wrongs’ of unjust convictions associated with corrupt police officers,” Mosby said.
According to CNN, though the process began in March 2017, courts denied Mosby’s requests to vacate because she did not have the legal right to do so. Her office then drafted and lobbied for a bill granting her that authority, which became law on October 1.
The Baltimore Police Department is known for being rife with corruption. As ESSENCE previously reported, in 2016, the Department of Justice released a 164 page report on the department’s unconstitutional methods of policing.