Ivan Misiura | United States
A federal grand jury has indicted former Baltimore Sergeant Keith Gladstone. Charges in the February 28th indictment that were unsealed at Tuesdays trial include: conspiracy to deprive civil rights, conspiracy to commit offence against the United States, and also witness tampering.
Gladstone planted a BB-gun at the scene of a drug bust, according to accusations. The same scene where an officer ran down a suspect with his vehicle in march, 2014. The offending officer, Wayne Jenkins, than called sergeant Gladstone and reportedly ordered him to plant the phony firearm. Baltimore charged the suspect with both drug possession and possession of an illegal weapon.
In a seperate civil suit, Sergeant Gladstone is named as a supplier of drugs planted by police.
Sergeant Gladstone being indicted will add to Baltimore PD’s long history of corruption.
As acting Baltimore Police Commissioner, Michael Harrison has announced the suspension of three other officers. He has also announced the formation of a new internal affairs investigation in light of the indictment. It is unclear what the grounds of the officer’s suspension is.
“The allegations outlined today in court are beyond disturbing, and speak to a culture that I am here to change… We are working with our federal partners on this ongoing investigation.”
Jenkins is the former leader of the Gun Trace Task Force, and is serving 25 years for various crimes including extortion, drug dealing, and robbery.
The Gun Trace Task Force has come under fire for having its officers carry BB-guns in case they get “jammed-up”. Much like how the federal grand jury indicted the former Baltimore PD Sergeant for planting a BB-gun. As according to the Chicago Tribune, following Jenkins indictment, Gladstone told the accompanying officers that, if questioned by federal investigators, they should lie that they were there strictly for “scene security”
CBS Baltimore reports that “If convicted, Gladstone faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to violate civil rights, a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., as well as a maximum of 20 years in prison for witness tampering.”
“Prosecuting criminals who work in police agencies is essential both to protect our communities and to support the many honorable officers whose reputations they unfairly tarnish,” U.S attorney Robert Hur said in a statement. “This is not about policing, it is about a criminal conspiracy.”
When asked to comment on the affairs of his client, Gladstone’s attorney, David Irwin said:
“He had a distinguished, long career in law enforcement.”
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