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Seven Baltimore Police Face Federal Indictment

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Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein on Friday

Seven Baltimore Police officers were indicted on charges of committing robberies, extortion, filing fake police reports and overtime fraud.

Most law enforcement officers are "embarrassed by this", Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. He said their conduct "tarnishes the reputation of all police officers". "It would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment until the charges leveled against these officers are finally resolved". A Senate committee hearing on his nomination is scheduled for Tuesday.

Five of the seven Baltimore police detectives charged are pictured in an October 2016 departmental newsletter. After three were acquitted, prosecutors dropped charges against the rest of the officers.

The Justice Department issued a scathing report in 2016 accusing Baltimore police of discriminating against black residents in poor communities through arbitrary arrests and detentions and blamed the practices on an entrenched culture of unconstitutional policing.

"Reform isn't always pretty. And part of the reality of reform is looking within our organization and pulling the covers back and seeing who is betraying the trust of our community".

The case began with a drug investigation in 2015 in which the DEA provided evidence of corruption by a Baltimore City police officer. Jenkins was a key police trainer on gun seizures. Both were ruled justified and the officer was given a department award in one case and in the latter, the city settled a civil suit with the victim's man's family for $100,000, the Sun reported. But even where the money or property wasn't lawfully possessed, the officers allegedly took it just the same.

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They're accused of stealing money in amounts ranging from $200 to $200,000. In an intercepted phone conversation between two officers, authorities quoted one telling the other: "Easy money J. Easy money" and "one hour can be eight hours".

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the indictments were embarrassing for the department.

Rosenstein has been selected by the Trump administration to become the next deputy attorney general, the second-highest position in the Justice Department. He briefly reflected on the public corruption cases that have marked much of his tenure, hailing "the superb work by the federal agents and prosecutors that's reflected in these cases". A judge still needs to sign off on the parameters of the federal review. The indictment comes after an investigation that lasted about a year, Rosenstein said, and included surveillance of the officers.

The police department says the officers are suspended without pay. Five alleged members of that conspiracy were also charged Monday with drug offenses for allegedly selling heroin at a shopping center in northeast Baltimore.

In another instance, one officer is accused of helping an associate in a drug conspiracy remove a Global Positioning System tracking device placed on the person's auto by the DEA.

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