As the Gun Trace Task Force saga moves into to the civil stage, defense attorney Tony Garcia says his client is seeking punitive damages after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby allowed her criminal case to sit and fester for seven months.
"Why does it have to sit around for months and months and months and why afterwards do we have to pretend,” Garcia said, “Why do we have to listen to Ms. Mosby pretend she didn't know about it. Misleading, obstructing the truth. "
Garcia is talking about the criminal case against April Sims, a story we first told you back in March, an accomplished beauty shop owner whose Canton home was searched by members of the GTTF in July. 2016.
We caught up with her the day the case was dismissed, three weeks after the indictment and arrests of the officers who charged her.
"I am happy that those cops were pretty much brought to justice and again, I have questions,” Sims told ABC2 News Investigative Reporter Brian Kuebler in March, 2017, “Marilyn Mosby, I want to ask her some questions."
The question then, as it is now, is how the case against her was allowed to be brought when so much questionable activity was caught on camera back in July of 2016.
In the security video of Sims’ Canton building, now convicted Sgt Wayne Jenkins walked in as if he lived in there, then moments later came back in a police vest with Detectives Daniel Hersl and Momodu Gondo.
Attorneys say Hersl shows a fake warrant to the security guard, they go upstairs only to come back down with boxes of personal belongings.
We heard in the GTTF trial last week that they never found the 40 thousand dollars Jenkins was picked up on a wire saying he thought was in the home.
The three corrupt cops did make off with a Gucci purse though, a score Gondo admitted on the stand he gave to his girlfriend.
Even without the benefit of hindsight though, the search caught on video should have been suspect enough for Mosby’s office these attorneys say.
"The few bad apples, the we couldn’t have known, the dismissals...it's all lies,” said defense attorney Josh Insley, “It is all a cover up and more of these documents come out every day."
One of those documents, related to yet another case, is this internal memo from January 2016.
The information marked as privileged work product from an assistant state's attorney was cc'd to leadership and sent directly up the chain to Ms. Mosby's head of the Police Integrity Unit.
It concerns Detective Jemell Rayam in a case that also included Jenkins from 2015 where in a motion, Judge Barry Williams said Detective Rayam of the GTTF “demonstrated a reckless disregard for the truth.”
It is proof these attorneys say that Mosby knew or should have known the damage the GTTF was doing and the flawed cases they were bringing against innocent people.
"Mosby knew,” defense attorney Natalie Finegar said, “There is no way the state's attorney’s office didn’t have information that there was a problem with this case and a significant credibility with the officers coupled with the fact that two years ago, a year before they were indicted, there was also significant information."
These attorneys are asking other GTTF victims to come forward as they work to pull together a larger civil suit against the Baltimore Police Department.
Marilyn Mosby’s office responded to these claims late in the afternoon via emailed statement that reads:
“Public safety is always the focus of our office and we initially proceeded with the prosecution of this case due to the overwhelming evidence against the defendants, which included 390 grams of heroin recovered at the scene. Unfortunately as part of our thorough, on-going and extremely onerous review of all cases related to the now convicted former GTTF officers, we had to dismiss these charges in the interest of justice. This is yet another example of hundreds of cases where police corruption has impeded our city's ability to deliver justice on behalf of its citizens .”