Two weeks ago, Atlanta police officer David Freeman was named his unit’s Officer of the Year. Yesterday, he was arrested on federal racketeering charges as an alleged leader of a notorious drug gang, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Freeman, 38, is among 16 people indicted as members of the Diablos gang, which authorities describe as “very violent.” He was arrested after a roll call to start his 7 a.m.-to-3 p.m. shift. He is charged with warning the Diablos of police investigations, confiscating drugs from suspects in rival gangs and trying to recruit gang members. He was jailed pending a bond hearing.
Freeman, who has been on the city police force for 12 years, was suspended with pay pending a hearing before police Chief Richard Pennington. Freeman allegedly worked with a gang leader to control drug traffic in northwest Atlanta, where Freeman grew up in a housing project.
Pennington, asked how Freeman could be involved in gang activity, said corruption investigations are “always difficult because people are often afraid to come forward about corrupt police officers.” Pennington recalled that a former officer in New Orleans, where he had been chief, is now on death row for murder. That officer had been known as “Robo Cop” for his high number of arrests.