Former BPD detective breaks down while on the stand in GTTF trial

Posted at 12:01 PM, Jan 30, 2018

Former Baltimore Police Department Detective Jemell Rayam continued his testimony in the Gun Trace Task Force trial Tuesday morning.

Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor are the remaining two of eight officers originally indicted in the sweeping corruption scandal.

Federal prosecutors grilled Rayam on overtime abuse and played taped phone calls that seemed to show a callous disregard for stealing taxpayer money by padding overtime or filing overtime slips for hours they didn't work.

Rayam broke down twice during his testimony.

The prosecutor asked Rayam about a car crash caused by a chase the Gun Trace Task Force initiated on August 31, 2016 near the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Rayam seemed confused at first and said, "There were so many crashes." He was referring to the number of crashes the unit caused by chasing.

When he recalled the crash, Rayam said this crash, "was bad, it was real bad."

He testified that Sgt. Wayne Jenkins ordered the squad to do nothing and listened to the police radio to see if it would be reported. Rayam said he wanted to check on the passengers but Sgt. Jenkins wouldn't let him.

"I was being a follower. I should have called it in and I just didn't," Rayam testified.

Rayam said Jenkins was worried citiwatch cameras caught their chase.

Taped phone call revealed Det. Hersl said they could just file overtime slips showing they clocked out before the crash.

Rayam broke down about the crash saying it could have been you, referring to the jury. 

"It could have been any one of you guys. It could have been my mother," he said on the stand.

Rayam broke down again and said, "Even though I was doing so much bad, it got to a point where too much was too much."

In cross examination, Hersl's attorney brought up that Rayam was suspended for 2 years after an internal affairs investigation found he took $11,000. He was placed with the Gun Trace Task Force when he was reinstated.

The defense also brought up that Rayam was involved in 3 shootings in 29 months.

The main defense continues to paint Sgt. Jenkins as the ringleader and the member were just following orders.

Rayam described Jenkins as untouchable or a "prince" in the department.

RELATED CONTENT: Second member of the GTTF takes stand in corruption trial

Yesterday, the Assistant U.S. Attorney told the judge the government may rest its case by the end of the week.

The trial is expected to last another two to three weeks and the jury will determine whether Hersl and Taylor used the protection of their badge to rob and extort Baltimore citizens.

At least four other detectives from the GTTF have already pleaded guilty and may take the stand in this case.