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FOP should stop defending dishonest Baltimore officers | READER COMMENTARY

The Fraternal Order of Police leadership has decried Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s release of Baltimore Police Department members on a dubiouis credibility list (”After court battle, Marilyn Mosby releases list of 305 Baltimore police officers with credibility issues,” May 25). This list, exceeding 300 members, is based on integrity issues attached to these individuals, which directly affect their credibility if called to testify in a criminal proceeding.

These “issues” have been identified as theft, planting evidence, perjury, corruption and fraud. Police leadership has, in the past, attempted to downplay the significance of this list. Now, the FOP would have the public ignore their members having credibility and integrity issues and focus instead on the legal problems faced by the current city state’s attorney (”‘It’s a morale issue’: Baltimore Police, Marilyn Mosby at odds over newly public police integrity list,” May 26). While the FOP, as the union representing city police, has a duty to vigorously defend its members, it does a disservice to those members — and the public at large — when advocating that members facing integrity and credibility issues should be kept on the department’s payroll and be allowed to testify in a criminal proceeding.

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To date, the only positions put forth by the FOP have been for higher pay for members (which will never be accepted by them as enough), continued animus against the current state’s attorney for daring to bring charges against members regarding Freddie Gray, and staunch opposition to any true efforts to implement police reform. The FOP is openly encouraging members to do as little as possible by fostering the false premise that Ms. Mosby will charge members who do their job on the streets of Baltimore.

To that, I answer that I worked the streets of Baltimore for 31 and a half years and never had an issue with the state’s attorney’s office. More important, that office never had an issue with me. A member’s integrity and credibility is everything. The union’s stance in this matter will further instill distrust in the public against the Baltimore Police Department. It’s a proven fact, those members having integrity and credibility issues will eventually become supervisors and command staff. The Gun Trace Task Force did not exist without those in command being aware of their actions.

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I sincerely hope the posting of this list will prevent unqualified” members from rising within the police department causing more damage to an agency already suffering from public mistrust!

— Lloyd G. Caster, Baltimore

The writer is a retired sergeant in the Baltimore Police Department.

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