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  • Ismael Barrios

GTTF: When the Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Written By Ismael Barrios



Breaking Through Photo


HBO found the actions of the Gun Trace Task Force so shocking they made it into a TV program. The outcome of the GTTF changed Baltimore and its residents forever. Eight of the 13 Baltimore police officers involved in the Gun Tracing Task Force have been charged in what some are calling the GTTF scandal. Almost 3 years later, the events of that event are still utterly affecting the city, and whether you've seen the article or the TV series, or haven't heard of anything, here's what you need to know and probably never forget.


It is said that many superiors and high-level officials know all this and have turned a blind eye to many behaviors for many years. The officers were charged with racketeering, certain robbery, extortion and long-term fraud in 2015-2016. Specifically, the robberies occurred during traffic stops, routine road stops and searches of residents.


Numerous false affidavits and police reports are said to have been sent in an attempt to cover up the crimes they committed. And serious overtime fraud caused by lies about working hours by BPD officers. It is also said that many officers did this before joining GTTF. One wonders how long these officials have been involved, or even known about it.


In 2000, it was reported that “response to surveys indicated that almost a quarter of BPD members believed that as many as 25 percent of their BPD peers were involved in stealing money or drugs from drug dealers.” This was followed by another The statement, which added: "Had the definition of corruption had been broadened to include false statements and lies in official police documents, which were common at the time, this figure could have been higher."


It has been said that the high level of BPD officers is due to the high number of arrests and gun seizures they make. This incentive has resulted in unjustified stops, searches, weapons confiscation and illegal arrests. While it says: "While BPD officials maintain that it has not introduced quotas in any of these categories, the pressure is felt very strongly by BPD members in the trenches."


It clarifies that these incentives do not directly affect the conduct of officers Responsible, but because some people feel they have no choice. Officials even ended up falsifying facts in probable cause statements and search warrant affidavits after feeling the pressure to deliver numbers. These actions resulted in the conclusion of many unsuccessful prosecutions.



This sector seems to have been corrupt longer than any of you have been alive. The BPD's first major corruption case of the 21st century came in 2005, when William King and Antonio Murray were arrested in May of that year. These officers have a reputation for being dirty cops and many have been known to interact with them resulting in them being robbed of money, drugs and even weapons without arrest.


After stealing the drugs, King and Murray were also known for dealing the same drugs, and while many thought they were lazy and avoided criminal charges, they were certainly proven wrong when they were caught. The two officers are well known throughout the department for their cases, but there doesn't appear to be any change or real recognition beyond that. This led to a pattern of apparent scandals that began with "Majestic Traction (2009), Daniel Reid (2012) and Kendall Richburg (2013)".


There is no doubt that the entire BPD is aware of all these incidents, whether through the media or word of mouth, and the BPD still seems to have failed to use them to teach or improve

department.



The GTTF began raising funds in 2007, little did it know that years later it would become some of the largest events the sector has ever been involved in. Over the years, after much investigation and many attempts to hide it, GTTF was finally investigated around 2015. The unit's investigation came into full swing after the investigation concluded with the arrest of seven GTTF members. Over the years, the department is said to have tried in various ways to change and analyze what might have led to the GTTF scandal. Given the years of corruption, it was no surprise that in the summer of 2020 a city detective was indicted for allegedly participating in a kidnapping and extortion scheme with at least two other police officers. Even though the BPD operates with the DOJ under a consent decree, not much seems to have changed. Many in the city likely still don't trust the Baltimore Police Department. It may even include some officials and family members or friends of officials. No matter how officials try to reform or change the training strategies used to identify wrongdoing, the city's residents, mostly minorities, will never be the same.


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