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Massive new report details Baltimore Police Department's role in allowing Gun Trace Task Force scandal to happen

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 04:09:25-05

BALTIMORE — A massive new report out Thursday morning details the largest scandal to ever hit the Baltimore City Police Department.

Over the last two years, Steptoe and Johnson, LLP, a Washington D.C. based law firm, has been investigating the actions of the disgraced Gun Trace Task Force and the department's role in allowing its crimes to happen.

That investigation turned into a 515 page report titled, "Anatomy of the Gun Trace Task Force Scandal: Its Origins, Causes, and Consequences."

The eight member team operated without fear of being arrested for three years on the streets of Baltimore. They targeted suspected drug dealers, planted evidence, stole their money and drugs and resold them keeping hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash for themselves. They also lied about overtime, all the while receiving commendations from the city.

Now, all eight of them are in federal prison after being either convicted or pleading guilty.

But the report goes much deeper than the eight GTTF members. It stretches back to the late 1990's, looking for root causes of the weaknesses in the city police department leadership and the state's attorney's office that allowed the GTTF to operate.

You can read the full report by clicking on this link.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison provided a response to the Gun Trace Task Force Report:

The Gun Trace Task Force Report was released by independent investigator Michael R. Bromwich on January 13, 2022. It includes 25 recommendations for the Baltimore Police Department – the majority of which are already in the process of being implemented.

“While the report provides an unflinching look at BPD’s own historical shortcomings, it is necessary for the information to be brought to light, so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past,” said Commissioner Harrison.

While BPD continues to review the report, the Department has developed responses to various recommendations outlined by Mr. Bromwich in the conclusion section. Topics for these recommendations include Hiring, Training, Supervision and Oversight & Accountability, among others.

The BPD will use the recommendations as a tool for internal evaluation and departmental improvement. The BPD pledges its continued transparency and welcomes opportunities for collaboration with the community.

Of the recommendations, Commissioner Harrison said they “provide a clear roadmap; and by implementing them, along with our Consent Decree, BPD can write the next chapter in our history, one that the City of Baltimore can be proud to call its own.”

You can watch the January 20 Consent Decree Hearing by clicking here. It is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.