baltimore-detectives-convicted-racketeering-robbery
Getty Images

Former Baltimore Detectives Face Up To 60 Years In Prison For Racketeering And Robbery

What a concept. Bad cops being arrested for doing bad things. 

Two Baltimore detectives were convicted for their part in what many are calling one of the biggest corruption scandals in the city's history.

Daniel T. Hersl, 48 and Marcus R. Taylor, 31 were found guilty of racketeering, racketeering and conspiracy and robbery. According to the Baltimore Sun, prosecutors on the case said Hersl and Taylor along with a few others from the Gun Trace Task Force acted as both "cops and robbers" using the law to take large sums of money from residents under the guise of police work.

Some of the most brazen acts committed were caught on video. Taylor was accused of participating in a robbery in which he stole $100,000 under the semblance of it being police duty. According to reports, prosecutors said he handcuffed a man, took his house keys, broke into the man's safe in the basement and found $200,000. Taylor and co. took half the money, left the rest in the safe and filmed cops "discovering" the lesser amount.

In another incident Hersl was accused of stealing $20,000 from a couple in Carroll County who had been detained but hadn't committed a crime. Officers testified Hersl was part of a group of cops who later split the money at a bar.

U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning spoke on how the disgraced detectives were able to get away with their crimes. “Their business model was that the people that they were robbing had no recourse,” Schenning said. "Who were they going to go to?”

Acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said during the trial evidence uncovered showcased “some of the most egregious and despicable acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement.”

Hersl and Taylor face up to 60 years in federal prison for their crimes.

Jurors deliberated for 12 hours for two before finally rendering their verdict on Monday. (Feb. 12) The government gave immunity to admitted drug dealers in exchange for their testimony, that Hersl and Taylor stole money and sometimes drugs. The defense tried to argue statements from drug dealers were not trustworthy.

Officer's testified to routinely violating people's rights, dating as far back as 2010, and not fearing they would be caught. Former Detective Momodu Gondo explained "It was just part of the culture.” Now, U.S District Judge Catherine Blake will hopefully put an end to that culture and sentence those involved anywhere between 20 and 40 years behind bars.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Scott Olson

Illinois Man Awarded $1.25 Million After Cops Tackled Him For Stealing His Own Car

A former Northwestern University doctoral student was awarded $1.25 million after police tackled the then 25-year old assuming he was trying to steal a car that was actually his own.

The Associated Press reports Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz confirmed the settlement amount had been reached Wednesday. (Jan. 23) Crosby was an engineering major in 2015 when the incident occurred.

Crosby’s attorney Timothy Touhy said his client was attempting to repair something with his car when a white woman watching called local police to report what she thought was a robbery.

The unidentified woman then followed Crosby in his car as he left his apartment and headed to a science building on Northwestern's campus, giving police his location.

Crosby reportedly exited his vehicle with his hands up but was immediately tackled by law enforcement when he didn't obey orders to get on the ground. Cops later determined Crosby was the owner of the vehicle but charged him with resisting arrest.

A spokesman for the Evanston police said the use of force was justified at the time because officers assumed a theft was in progress. Crosby was the victim of knee strikes and open-handed strikes.

A judge threw out the charges.

“It’s his hope that as a result of this case, that all of us begin a discussion on implicit bias and begin to recognize it and begin to discuss it between yourselves and your friends,” said Steven Yonover, who represented Crosby in the case.

Continue Reading
Scott Olson

Chicago Man Has Wrongful Murder Conviction Overturned After Serving 17 Years

A Chicago man who accused a retired cop of framing him for a murder he didn't commit has finally had the conviction overturned after spending 17 years in prison.

According to Buzzfeed News, Geraldo Iglesias was released from prison in 2010 for the 1993 murder of Monica Roman, who was shot and killed while sitting inside her car in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. However, Iglesias spent the last nine years fighting to have the conviction removed from his record because it prohibited his ability to get a job or find housing.

Iglesias is the 10th man to have a conviction overturned after being investigated by Reynaldo Guevara. Buzzfeed invested the former detective and found 50 men accused him of framing them for murders they allege they didn't commit.

At Iglesias' 1995 sentencing, he spoke directly to the victim's family and expressed his condolences while maintaining his innocence.

"I would like to say that I apologize and I’m sorry for what happened to the young lady and I send my condolences to the family but I would like to say I had nothing to do with it and the Lord knows I had nothing to do with it.”

Iglesias' conviction was sealed on the testimony of a jailhouse informant Francisco Vicente who alleged Islesias confessed to him about killing Roman. Vicente said Iglesias said, "I shot the bitch in the head.”

In the past Guevara and his partner, Ernest Halvorsen have used the 5th Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination. Buzzfeed reports at least 17 defendants who allege Guevara framed them are still behind bars.

 

Continue Reading
Martin H. Simon

Donald Trump Doesn't Have Any MLK Day Activities Planned

President Donald Trump has no public events scheduled for Dr. Martin Luther King day.

On Friday (Jan. 18) the president signed a proclamation in which encouraged “all Americans to recommit themselves to Dr. King’s dream by engaging in acts of service to others, to their community, and to our Nation.” The Daily Beast reports. However, Trump may not have included himself in the proclamation.

NEW: @realDonaldTrump won't be participating in any Martin Luther King Jr. Day service activities tomorrow. According to the White House schedule, he "has no public events scheduled."

— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 21, 2019

While the president's plans on the national day of service are unclear, Vice President Mike Pence compared Dr. King's legacy of peace to the current U.S. partial government shutdown. On CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday (Jan. 20) Pence quoted the late civil rights leader.

"One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,’” Pence said. "You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union...That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do: Come to the table in the spirit of good faith.

We’ll secure our border. We’ll reopen the government and we’ll move our nation forward as the president said yesterday to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead.”

As of Jan. 21, the United States government has been shut down for 31 days. More than 800,000 federal employees have gone without pay due to an impasse between the Democratic Congress and the White House. Donald Trump has asked for $5.7 billion for a U.S.-Mexico wall, while the Democrats are refusing to budge.

Continue Reading

Top Stories