For the second time this year, Baltimore has disbanded a specialized police unit and launched an internal investigation into its officers’ activities, forcing prosecutors to consider dismissing dozens of criminal cases connected to the officers, the Baltimore Sun reports. A unit of the “Special Enforcement Teams” was taken off the streets and its officers were reassigned a month ago. The investigation involves undisclosed “allegations of misconduct.” Sources said the officers have been accused of lying in charging documents, most of which involve drug arrests that result from car stops.
Late last year, the department launched an internal review of a “flex squad” prompted by a report from a woman who said she was raped by officers. That investigation also involved allegations that officers stole and planted evidence, and that probe remains open. Even as the internal investigation proceeds, prosecutors have begun dropping cases in which the officers are the only witnesses. Prosecutors are tabulating how many cases will be lost because of the investigation, but a review of court records shows it could be well over 100, mostly drug cases.