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Senator Proposes state team to investigate corruption in Gun Trace Task Force

Posted at 11:18 PM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-15 06:32:05-04

A federal trial held members of the disgraced Baltimore Police Department Gun Trace Task Force accountable while opening a can of questions.

State Senator Bill Ferguson wants the state to get involved to bring the answers to those questions to light.

He proposed a bill that would create a Commission to Restore Trust in Policing.

The commission would be made up of seven people picked by the state Speaker of the House, Governor, and the Senate President.

Ferguson said the leader of the commission would be someone with experience in the law field.

“What checks in the system should have existed, didn’t exist, is it systemic? Is it something about the structure of the department that varies from other departments across the state,” Ferguson said.

The corruption found in the Gun Trace Task Force created a nationwide black eye on the entire city of Baltimore.

The members are paying the price, but Ferguson wants to see more questions answered.

“The only way we can ever move forward from the horrific experience that the city has come to grips with is if we as a state take a deep look,” said Ferguson. “Own up to who knew what? When did they know it? What do we have to do to make sure that this never ever happens again.”

Mayor Catherine Pugh said Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa is already setting up an independent body to do that.

 “We’re under a federal mandate, and I would support an independent body that is not lead by the state,” said Pugh. “An independent body of folks that are aware of these kinds of situations and have the expertise to do so."

City Councilman Brandon Scott said he believes in the new commissioner’s ability to get the job done, but supports as many eyes as possible.

 “With the state being an overseeing body, legislative body of the police department they should be doing this. This is their job this is their right and this is what they should be doing.”

The commission would run for 20 months, giving a preliminary report at the end of 2018, and a final report in December of 2019.

The committee would not be to prosecute, only to provide recommendations of things that need to happen to change the police department.

The bill is in the Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee in the Senate.

It will have to pass from that committee then the whole Senate and then the House.