Baltimore Police Kept Toy Guns 'To Plant' In Case They Shot An Innocent Citizen
Cops kept the toys guns as a failsafe method i
The Baltimore Police Department is now in court over one of the biggest corruption scandals in American law enforcement history as eight members of Baltimore's elite Gun Trace Task Force revealed they kept fake guns to plant on innocent people.
According to to the Baltimore Sun, the cops kept the toys guns as a failsafe method in case they shot an innocent unarmed citizen.
Detective Maurice Ward, who had already pleaded guilty to the charges, admitted that the other officers were told to carry fake guns "in case we accidentally hit somebody or got into a shootout, so we could plant them."
The orders allegedly came from the team's sergeant, Wayne Jenkins according to tot he Washington Post. Despite Ward refusing to disclose whether the tactic was ever used, Detective Marcus Taylor was carrying a fake gun identical to his service weapon when he was arrested.
Prosecutors say the squad, which was tasked with getting illegal guns off the streets, abused its power by robbing suspects and innocent people, raiding homes without warrants, and selling confiscated drugs, among other crimes.
But the BB gun testimony is particularly disturbing in light of 12-year-old Tamir Rice's death in 2014, the 13-year-old in Baltimore who was shot twice by cops in 2016 after he allegedly sprinted from them with a replica gun in his hand, and the 86 people fatally shot by police in 2015 and 2016 who were spotted carrying toy guns.
Six of the eight task force members charged in the corruption scandal have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, but Taylor and Detective Daniel Hersl have pleaded not guilty. They're currently on trial while several of their former partners testify against them.