Ex-Baltimore Police Official Will Detail “Cesspool” In Department


A former Baltimore Police Department official who is being blamed for the dismissal of at least 50 police misconduct cases says her decisions were closely monitored by top police leaders and promises to outline “incredibly horrendous acts of crime and malfeasance” in the department, reports the Baltimore Sun. JoAnn C. Woodson-Branche said she is “prepared to pull back the curtain on the cesspool that exists within the Police Department’s disciplinary oversight unit.”

Woodson-Branche has been silent since her firing in April amid claims by the police union and defense lawyers that she had manipulated internal charging documents in police misconduct cases. Critics have long maintained that the agency’s disciplinary system was rife with problems and racially or politically motivated. As part of a $4.5 million settlement reached last week in a 2004 federal race discrimination lawsuit, the department has agreed to work with an outside consultant for three years. Said a police spokesman: “The Baltimore Police Department has a fair and prudent disciplinary system that has to be applied judiciously across the board. In these cases, there were administrative issues that were not followed. All we can focus on at this point is moving forward.”

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