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  February 1, 2018

Witness Testifies That Police Officer Brought Him Bags of Stolen Drugs


In the Gun Trace Task Force trial, a Baltimore bail bondsman testified that in 2015, Sgt Wayne Jenkins brought him pharmaceuticals stolen from drugstores looted during the uprising
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BAYNARD WOODS: For The Real News, I'm Baynard Woods in Baltimore for the second week in a police corruption trial wrapped up today. You may remember back in 2015, after the death of Freddie Grey in police custody here, there was an uprising and there were drugs looted from a pharmacy. There were pictures all over the news of a burning CVS and the police commissioner later blamed a spike in murders in the city on the sale of those drugs in the city. Well, a bail bondsman today who was working with the head of the Gun Trace Task Force, the police squad that's on trial in this corruption case, said that during that time, Wayne Jenkins, the head of that squad came to his garage with two large bags full of pharmaceuticals stolen from a pharmacy that he said he stole from people leaving the pharmacy and said I have a whole pharmacy here. I don't even know what I have. And he gave those drugs, along with pounds and pounds and pounds of other drugs; crack, heroin, cocaine and marijuana to this bail bondsman named Donald Stepp to sell in the city of Baltimore.

This is a police sergeant and Stepp testified today that the sergeant, Wayne Jenkins, liked being in this crew, the Gun Trace Task Force because he was able to move freely throughout the city and was able to recruit members as he wanted and he recruited people because of their corruption. He eluded specifically to one of the two who's standing trial. Most of them have already pled guilty and are testifying against their co-defendants but Daniel Hersl, who's been notorious in Baltimore for a long time for brutality and corruption, is one of those who's pleading not guilty. And Stepp, today, on the stand said that Jenkins told him that Hersl was one of the most corrupt officers, police officers, in the city of Baltimore.

This is all really remarkable and it backs up what people on the streets have been telling us for a long time. Yesterday, one man who had been kidnapped basically, robbed of $75,000, took the stand, and as he was needled by a defense attorney, he broke down and started screaming about how they had ruined his life, ruined everyone's life, how his children were afraid to go in their home after it was invaded by the officers like that. It's just been a parade all week of really destruction that we've seen and it really mirrors the kind of systemic segregation that we see here in Baltimore. As the defense attorneys for the two officers on trial question witness after witness, specifically black witnesses, they say, "Oh, you have a large amount of money, isn't that indicative of you being a drug dealer?"

Then yesterday there was someone, "You have one dollar bills, isn't that indicative of you being a drug dealer?" The man said, rightly, “Everyone carries one dollar bills.” So, this trial could on next week. It's expected to go for another week or so but it's unclear how many more officers will come up and will be named. Another officer who was a former partner of Jenkins was said today to have acted as a security detail for a Dominican drug dealer who came down from New York to meet with Stepp about drug transactions and go to a strip club. So, this trial is far from over and we'll be seeing a lot more about the inner workings of the Baltimore Police Department over the coming weeks.

For The Real News, I'm Baynard Woods.



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