Baltimore faces up to 55 possible lawsuits over police corruption
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - As another former Baltimore police officer prepares to appear before a federal judge, the City faces as many as 55 potential lawsuits in connection with the corruption.
Umar Burley and Brent Matthews have filed a $40 million lawsuit in federal court following their arrests in 2010. Matthews and Burley were arrested following a fatal accident. At the time, the plainclothes officers who initiated the pursuit, alleged they found heroin and a digital scale in the car Burley was driving. Both men plead guilty to federal charges even though they maintained their innocence.
Matthews said this about the officers: "All of them rolled with it. Everyone was involved in it."
It wasn't until last year and the announcement of a federal indictment naming members of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force that federal agents realized two innocent men had been sent to prison.
Then, Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Schenning said: "That investigation uncovered this incident in 2010.... After the accident, there was no contraband..."
The 32 grams of heroin were planted in Burley's Acura by officers on the scene. During his sentencing, Wayne Jenkins cried as he apologized to Burley and Matthews. He also apologized to members of the Davis family who loved one was killed in the accident.
Burley believed he was about to be robbed when the officers first appeared.
Burley said: "Once they jumped out with their guns drawn, I didn't think twice, I was immediately out of there."
The drugs found in Burley's car following the crash were discovered by Det. Sean Suiter.
Suiter was scheduled to testify on the case before a federal grand jury, but Suiter never made it to court. He was found fatally shot the night before he was scheduled to testify in West Baltimore.
Additional charges were filed against former GTTF Sgt. Wayne Jenkins in connection the Burley and Matthews case.
In early June, a judge sentenced Jenkins to twenty-five years in federal prison.
Jenkins plead guilty to falsifying police reports and racketeering charges. For at least seven years after the arrests of Burley and Matthews, Jenkins and other officers routinely robbed people, conducted illegal searches, and committed attendance and overtime fraud. While Jenkins as others made money hand over fist, their victims continued to struggle.
Take Burley and Matthews. They're still struggling to find work because of the ordeal they've been through.