Jurors in the case of two former Baltimore cops facing charges of misconduct while on the force, began deliberations today.
Dozens of witnesses took the stand against police detectives Marcus Taylor and Daniel Hersl, both part of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force. They gave varying accounts of the duo all of which point to them using illegal measures to make traffic stops, search victims property without cause and then stealing cash and or property.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise addressed the court saying, “These men were supposed to be sentinels guarding this city from people that would break the law,” Wise told jurors. “Instead, these men became hunters.”
The pair is part of a larger unit, the head of which, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, is said by the Baltimore Sun to have “…often sought out the next target by asking victims who they would rob if given the chance.”
As part of its evidence, the prosecution played a recording, taken by the FBI from the inside of a police vehicle, in open court. On the audio, Taylor and Hersl are heard discussing what to do after during the aftermath of a car chase that resulted in a serious accident.
“Dude’s unconscious, he ain’t saying sh–,” Taylor expressed.
Hersl then mocked the situation saying the two should adjust their time sheets to reflect them being off the clock at the time of the incident, “Hey, I was in the car just driving home,” he said.
The two decided not to help the victim.
Hersl and Taylor, according to the Sun, face racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, robbery and use of a firearm in a crime of violence. Prosecutors claim their service weapons were used for the purpose of committing extortion.
In her instructions to jurors today, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake took nearly two hours to explain to jurors their processes and procedures in determining the guilt of innocence of the ex-cops.
When addressing jurors, Hersl’s attorney, William Purpura, didn’t absolve his client of wrongdoing saying, “Look after 17 years as a street cop, his conduct was wrong” He added, “It is up to you to decipher what exactly that conduct was.”