Rampart Redux?


The big scandal in Baltimore right now involves one of the police department's "flex squads," special units with elastic duties. Among other things, members of the Southwestern District's squad have allegedly planted drugs on suspects, stolen cell phones from arrestees, and—the most explosive charge—committed rape. From one of Gus Sentementes and Julie Bykowicz's reports in The Sun:

A woman's allegation that one member of the flex squad forced her to have sex in exchange for her freedom has opened a more expansive inquiry into a squad whose members, according to a search warrant affidavit, kept heroin, cocaine and marijuana stashed in their desk drawers and lockers….

Three officers were indicted Jan. 6 on rape charges. Three others, including the squad's supervisor, Sgt. Robert Smith, have been implicated in wrongdoing. Mengel is facing gambling charges in an unrelated case.

Prosecutors have compiled a list of about 375 District Court and Circuit Court cases investigated by the officers indicted on the rape charges, saying they are no longer credible witnesses.

After the rape, the woman claims, "she was driven back to her neighborhood and given back her drugs."

The Sun's coverage of the scandal is collected here.