Baltimore Police Corruption Case Going to Jury

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Federal prosecutors told jurors that the Gun Trace Task Force corruption case is about “equal justice for all,” and asked them to convict two Baltimore police detectives who believed they were “above the law” and victimized people they believed were “beneath the law,” the Baltimore Sun reports. Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Hines pointed to the last government, a young detective who testified that he rejected a proposition to join the group in their crimes. “At some point during the career of these two men, they were given that exact same opportunity to make that choice,” Hines said. “But they did not.”

Six members of the task force have pleaded guilty to federal charges that include racketeering, robbery and firearms violations. Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor are fighting the charges. Hersl acknowledged taking money in two cases, attorney William Purpura said, but should not be charged with federal crimes. The jury is likely to begin deliberating Thursday. Federal prosecutors called more than 30 witnesses, including officers who have admitted their roles in brazen robberies and drug dealers given immunity to testify that officers took cash and kilograms of drugs from them. The evidence depicted a dysfunctional police department in which officers confidently lied in official paperwork and in court to cover their tracks without fear of repercussions.

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