Commission faults Baltimore police leadership over scandal

December 3, 2020 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — A state commission that is investigating the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force scandal has concluded there were leadership failures at the department’s highest levels.

The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday that the commission also recommended changes to Maryland’s Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights.

The Commission to Restore Trust in Policing released a 184-page report. Its investigation saw “little evidence” that integrity was a top priority even while top Baltimore Police officials said that it was paramount. Investigators also faulted the department for not taking serious steps to investigate the scandal after it became public.

“The Commission finds that prior to the GTTF indictments, and continuing through today, the BPD has under-emphasized integrity and accountability,” the report said.

The report said the department should resume random “integrity stings” on officers as well as require drug tests and polygraphs. It also called for more internal affairs staff.

The commission’s proposed changes to the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights includes giving the police commissioners more power to fire or suspend officers.

Authorities said the gun task force was a rogue police unit that committed brazen robberies and other illegal activities.