Attorneys for one of the seven Baltimore police officers charged in a federal racketeering indictment say violations of civil rights are so pervasive in Baltimore that they are not a reason to detain their client pending trial, reports the Baltimore Sun. Marcus Taylor and six other members of the Gun Trace Task Force were ordered detained after being indicted on charges that included allegations of robbing citizens, filing false reports, and obtaining fraudulent overtime pay. The alleged crimes came amid a Justice Department investigation that found widespread violations of civil rights and which led to a consent decree.
Seeking a review of the judge’s detention order, attorneys Miriam Seddiq and Justin Eisele wrote that the city’s police department “has been the subject of allegations for lying, extortion and breach of public trust for decades.” They added that “unconstitutional and dishonest policing is system-wide … and these systemic problems are not a reason to detain Mr. Taylor.” The attorneys say “illegal searches are part of the [police] culture,” and the allegations against Taylor show he was “not properly trained about what he could and could not do.” They said “DOJ acts as if this case is a localized conspiracy of 7 police officers. It is not.”