The Baltimore Sun conducted a yearlong investigation into the corruption that occurred within Baltimore City's police department in their Gun Trace Taskforce and is now publishing a series of articles, here is part one of the series of articles about this yearlong investigation of police corruption in Baltimore City: https://news.baltimoresun.com/cops-and-robbers/part-one/
Still, a yearlong investigation by The Baltimore Sun found warning signs that Wayne Jenkins wasn’t such a good cop. His supervisors and others either failed to see the red flags — or chose to ignore them.
These misconduct allegations came as Jenkins was serving in various plainclothes units — well before his appointment in 2016 to head the Gun Trace Task Force, one of the department’s most celebrated plainclothes squads.
- From 2006 to 2009, Jenkins was the subject of at least four lawsuits alleging misconduct. The plaintiffs prevailed in three of them, either through a jury verdict or the city’s decision to settle the case. But the suits triggered no internal punishment by the police department.
- Despite the lawsuits — and later, video evidence from his squad’s body cameras — Jenkins’ supervisors failed to scrutinize the arrests he was making. He was getting suspects off the street, but his cases often weren’t holding up in court.
- A surveillance video suggesting Jenkins may have planted drugs in a suspect’s car did make its way to the police integrity unit of the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office in 2014. Prosecutors investigated and even presented evidence to a grand jury but concluded they didn’t have enough evidence to obtain an indictment.
- The same video led to a rare police department disciplinary case against Jenkins, who was internally charged with misconduct in 2015, according to a copy of the case file reviewed by The Sun. Investigators recommended Jenkins be demoted and suspended without pay. The department’s Internal Affairs chief at the time says then-Deputy Commissioner Darryl De Sousa intervened to prevent the punishment. De Sousa, who later served as commissioner and is currently serving time on federal tax charges, says he doesn’t remember the case.
While Jenkins’ most serious crimes — the drug dealing, the robberies — appear to have been well hidden, it is not surprising they flourished within Baltimore’s permissive plainclothes culture.