Residents react to charges filed against Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa

Posted at 11:24 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 23:24:10-04

Baltimore's top cop is in trouble for not filing his taxes. 

Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa charged with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file a U.S individual tax return.

RELATED: BPD Commissioner Darryl De Sousa charged with failure to file taxes for 3 years

De Sousa released a statement admitting he failed to file his taxes for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

“I fully admit to failing to file my personal Federal and State taxes for 2013, 2014 and 2015. I did file my 2016 taxes and received an extension for my 2017 taxes. I have been working to satisfy the filing requirements and, to that end, have been working with a registered tax advisor.

To be clear, I have paid Federal, state and local taxes regularly through the salary withholding process. 

While there is no excuse for my failure to fulfill my obligations as a citizen and public official, my only explanation is that I failed to sufficiently prioritize my personal affairs. Naturally, this is a source of embarrassment for me and I deeply regret any embarrassment it has caused the Police Department and the City of Baltimore. I accept full responsibility for this mistake and am committed to resolving this situation as quickly as possible.”

Mayor Catherine Pugh said he made a mistake and that she has full confidence in the position.

As Commissioner De Sousa has explained, he made a mistake in not filing his taxes for the years in question. He is working to resolve this matter and has assured me that he will do so as quickly as possible. I have full confidence in Darryl De Sousa in his capacity as Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department and trust that he will continue to focus on our number one priority of reducing violence.

The people we talked to on the streets said they are desperate for transparency from city officials and feel let down again.

For Lucky Crosby Sr. the already fragile line of trust between people and police in the city taking another blow.

“It's already eroded, nobody trusts the police but Catherine Pugh nobody,” Crosby said.

Nicholas Thomas has lived in Baltimore for 50 years, he thinks De Sousa has been doing a good job but is disappointed.

“He should pay his taxes that what he should do lead by example,” Thomas said.

The Commissioner said there's no excuse and that he didn't prioritize his personal affairs.

Saying he's embarrassed for himself, the department and the city.

“I accept full responsibility for this mistake and am committed to resolving this situation as quickly as possible.”

Crosby is angry that this wasn't found in his vetting process.

“That’s so unfair that The City Council and our elected officials would treat us like this. That they would not investigate this before they brought him to the full committee to be consummated.”

Councilman Brandon Scott, the Chair of the Public Safety Committee said he is extremely disappointed in the commissioner.

 “This is not what the city needs right now,” Scott said. “This city does not need any distractions away from reducing violence and repairing the relationship between police and the community.”

Scott said De Sousa is held to a higher standard, and that he needs to use this mistake to come out stronger.

 “He knows as an African American man he’s going to be held to a higher standard especially by folks like me. There are young men growing up in the city, young African American men in the police department who look up to him.

De Sousa faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each of the three counts.

De Sousa became commissioner earlier this year when Mayor Pugh fired Commissioner Kevin Davis after 2 1/2 years.

Pugh said a change in leadership was needed to oversee reducing Baltimore's violent crime rate.