Convicted Baltimore Officer Testifies That He Stole Money With Now Deceased Officer Sean Suiter

In the Gun Trace Task Force trial, convicted officer Momodu Gondu says he used to steal money with the officer who died after being shot in Harlem Park in November

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Story Transcript

BAYNARD WOODS: For The Real News, I’m Baynard Woods in Baltimore where further testimony and the ongoing Gun Trace Task Force trial reveals the extent of corruption in the Baltimore Police Department.

Detective Momodu Gondo, or former Detective Momodu Gondo, he’d lost his position when he pleaded guilty to numerous racketeering charges, took the stand today to testify against former colleagues, Officers Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor. Gondo shed light on a police killing in 2009 here in Baltimore of Shawn Cannady. Cannady was shot when police said at the time, he tried to run over an Officer Jason Giordano. As it turns out, Detective Jemell Rayam, Gondo’s longtime partner, shot Cannady because he said, “Fuck him. I didn’t want to chase him.” This story of running over Giordano was concocted, Gondo said, by a deputy police commissioner still on the force today, Dean Palmere, and the highest person named so far in this corruption trial.

That’s not the only dramatic news that came out today. It was also shown that Detective Sean Suiter, who was murdered on November 15th, his death has still not been solved, in the Bennett Place area of Baltimore leading to a several-day lockdown of the Harlem Park neighborhood, was involved in stealing with Gondo back as early as 2009. Gondo named a number of other officers whom he said were on the special task force VCID at the time and were involved in stealing from civilians, as well as dealing drugs, in the case of Gondo with his longtime childhood friend.

This is just a little bit of what we’re seeing in this trial. Detective Hersl, who’s on trial, it came out today, was banned from working in the entire Eastern District of the city. This is something that we’ve seen going back for a good while. A rapper, Young Moose, was telling me as early as 2014 that in that neighborhood of Baltimore that people called him “Put-it-on-him Hersl” because he was planting guns on people. And of course, we saw last week in the trial, in the dramatic testimony of Detective {Maurice} Ward that they put BB guns in the backs of cars so they could plant it on people if they shot them and there was no weapon on them.

So, we don’t know how far this corruption, how far up it’s going to go. We do know that Commissioner Kevin Davis was fired the day before the trial started, or the Friday rather before the Monday beginning of the trial, and that he gave a commendation to Detective Wayne Jenkins, who was the head of the Gun Trace Task Force, and the malfeasance on Jenkins’ part is just staggering, even to cynical reporters like myself who have been following Baltimore Police corruption for a long time.

We learned last week that during the uprising following the death of Freddie Gray in 2005, that Jenkins went out and got two bags full of pharmaceutical pills, brought them to a bail bondsman to sell. Then Commissioner Batts said that the selling of these drugs is what caused the murder spike in the city. We know also that Jenkins had a vast array of burglary equipment, masks, including grappling hooks. And so we wonder, he said that he stole these drugs from other people who had already stolen the pharmacy but we wonder what is going to come out in the remainder of this trial.

We’ll be giving you daily updates here at The Real News from the ongoing Gun Trace Task Force corruption trial in Baltimore. I’m Baynard Woods.