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January 2006
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It hits the fan in Baltimore

Questions raised for years about city ‘flex squad’ in the Baltimore Sun (via Hit and Run).
The Southwestern District flex squad has been disbanded and its officers suspended under a huge list of allegations, including rape charges against some officers, plus planting drugs, falsifying arrest reports and lots more.

Troubles in the flex squad became public this month with the disclosure of the rape allegation.
Jones, 28; Steven P. Hatley, 27; and Brian J. Shaffer, 28, have been charged with rape, conspiracy to rape, sexual offense, assault and violation of official duties. […]
While investigating the rape allegation, police said in an affidavit, they seized 11 bags of suspected cocaine from Shaffer’s duffel bag[…]
“When you’re on a flex squad, you’re going fishing,” said a former top commander in the Baltimore Police Department, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he still works in law enforcement. “And you’re going to the prime fishing spots. You’re going where the drugs are; you’re going where the guns are.” […]
“They put stuff on you,” said Marlon Harris, a 21-year-old Southwest Baltimore resident whose criminal record includes several drug arrests. “Knockers want you to give up a gun or a house, and they’ll let you go. They’re dirty. It was just a matter of time before they got caught. I’m glad.”

Again, I feel the need to point out that most police officers are good people who perform an excellent and important job (and if you want some excellent examples, meet some of the officers with LEAP). We see more of the bad officer in drug enforcement, since the scum inevitably finds its way there for the ultimate in corruption opportunities.
I daresay that the drug war also corrupts many who, in another world would be acceptable police officers, but here got sucked in to the dark side. Why? Because the laws and the drug war society told them that their employers — the citizens — were actually their enemy, and they developed a war mentality in justifying their own tactics.

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