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Attempted murder, evidence-planting and the Gun Trace Task Force

Attempted murder, evidence-planting and the Gun Trace Task Force

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Baltimore prosecutors throw out dozens of criminal cases involving federally indicted police officers.

One case that continues to be adjudicated shows prosecutors may have known of possible misconduct by one of those indicted officers about two years before the federal investigation into their conduct began.

Police officers and members of the Gun Trace Task Force respond to a call for a shooting in southwest Baltimore.

Prosecutors wrote in court records that when Wayne Jenkins, Maurice Ward, Marcus Taylor and Evodio Hendrix arrived at the scene on July 21, 2016, they saw Rodney Thomas “struggling to walk out of the alley.” He collapsed in the middle of Wilkens Avenue from five gunshot wounds.

Hendrix and Taylor chased after the shooter, as he threw away the gun, and arrested him. Charles Smith is charged with Rodney Thomas’ attempted murder.

Since these four officers, and five others, were indicted starting in February 2017, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office has thrown out 123 criminal cases attached to them. These officers are listed as witnesses in Smith’s indictment.

In later court records, prosecutors say the cops are not needed for their case, pointing to DNA evidence, video surveillance and the victim identifying Smith as his shooter.

In court records, Smith’s attorney, Deborah Katz Levi, requests Internal Affairs files (IAD) from the four officers.

One of those files involves Wayne Jenkins and “alleges that…Wayne Jenkins and other officers gave sworn testimony or recorded statements about an arrest and a seizure that conflicted with CCTV video evidence. It also includes allegations of evidence planting.”

This IAD file is based on a complaint by a former Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, reporting that “Officer Jenkins and his subordinates were not truthful.”

The court filing does not show which case is being referenced. IAD files are not public record in Maryland.

Since the indictment of the officers, defense attorneys point to these IAD files as evidence of a pattern of misconduct that should have been picked up on by prosecutors.

Smith’s attorney writes the IAD file on Jenkins “appears to contain exculpatory evidence for the defense.”

Smith’s trial is set to begin December 15.

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