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how deep does the rot run?

March 1st, 2018 | 2 min read

By Matthew Loftus

This article from the Baltimore Sun summarizes some of the most shocking instances of corruption and violence from the trial of some Gun Trace Task Force members, including:

» Ward said Jenkins also believed males over the age of 18 carrying bookbags were suspicious and attempted to stop them.

» Jenkins would portray himself as a federal agent, telling drug dealers that he was taking their money and drugs but would let them go because they weren’t his ultimate target.

» Ward said the officers used illegal GPS trackers to follow the movements of some targets.

» Jenkins would ask suspected drug dealers, “If you could put together a crew of guys and rob the biggest drug dealer in town, who would it be?” The officers would use the answers to determine who to target, Ward said.

» Ward said the officers kept BB guns in their vehicles “in case we accidentally hit somebody or got into a shootout, so we could plant them.” He did not say whether the officers ever planted a BB gun on anyone.

» In one incident, police took a man’s house keys, ran his name through databases to find his address, went into the home without a warrant and found drugs and a safe. The officers cracked open the safe, which had about $200,000 inside. They took $100,000 out, closed the safe back up, then filmed themselves pretending to open it for the first time. “Nobody touch anything,” Jenkins can be heard saying on the video, which was played for jurors.

» After the man’s arrest, Jenkins listened to the man’s calls made from jail. He was discussing the officers taking his money, and said he wanted to hire a good lawyer to go after them. Ward said Jenkins determined the man’s wife was arranging his legal matters, and wanted to cut her out. They wrote a note purporting to be from another woman, saying the man had gotten her pregnant, and left it in the man’s door, Ward said.

Given the extreme disregard these officers had for due process and the glee with which they robbed anyone they could, it’s no surprise that crime in Baltimore has flourished over the past two years. As I’ve written before, the law is only as trustworthy as those who are charged to uphold it — and when people think that law enforcement is capricious, they’ll take the law into their own hands. And when a Baltimore Assistant State’s Attorney and other officers have been accused of participating in the GTTF’s schemes (with no comment from the State’s Attorney’s office!), one has to wonder how deep the rot really runs.

Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at