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De Sousa unveils command staff, addresses GTTF Trial

Posted at 4:44 PM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 17:12:41-05

For the first time since the trial opened, Commissioner Designate Darryl De Sousa addressed the stunning corruption jumping off the witness stand in federal court.

"I cannot minimize the fact that there are corrupt cops. GTTF is awful. It sickens me to my stomach to see what occurred."

And it is against that backdrop De Sousa rolled out his new organizational chart for the Baltimore Police Department including a new corruption unit to specifically investigate the other officers that have been implicated in trial testimony.

He is also launching an integrity unit which the commissioner says will do random integrity tests and even random polygraph tests of officers in specialized units.

There is also an overtime abuse unit, a mobile, 10th police district and even constitutional training for officers on both the 4th and 5th amendments.

"I feel comfortable in placing strong mechanisms in place now in front of it and still building out pieces, even more expansive than is what's on the board there," De Sousa said.

But what the commissioner was suddenly not comfortable with on the board was his appointment for Deputy Commissioner, Thomas Casella.

Casella, formally a BPD major is listed on the chart but De Sousa says that is now on hold.

Police say a sustained equal employment opportunity complaint of racial bias surfaced from his time on the force in 2006.

De Sousa says he has to verify the document before deciding whether to move forward but there may be another concern surrounding Casella.

Earlier this week the FBI agent in charge of the GTTF investigation told the jury that she didn’t seek surveillance video from the Horseshoe Casino where she said Detective Daniel Hersl was known to gamble with stolen money because she didn't trust the police liaison there.

Thomas Casella was and is still currently listed as director of security for the casino.

De Sousa responded to that question by saying, "I am just moving forward in the best way possible just to make sure corruption is completely stopped. My priority is the corruption. My priority is the safety of the city."

Also, Sergeant Alicia White who had criminal charges dropped against her in the Freddie Gray case and was also cleared by the department was set to move into Internal Affairs during the shuffle.

The move was indicated in a department wide memo last night putting White in the Best Practices Unit.

Despite that memo that was distributed throughout the agency, De Sousa said today that she will not be moved to Internal Affairs.