GTTF verdict an opportunity for change

BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) - While Monday night marked the end of a long trial, in many ways, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning pointed out, it is also a beginning.

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"I hope that this case will begin I think, the long difficult process of examining how the police department polices."

For three weeks we listened to the explosive details of how two sergeants and six detectives assaulted the fourth amendment by robbing and extorting citizens while bilking tens of thousands of dollars from taxpayers in overtime fraud.

But now, while the wound is open, some say it is the perfect time to make sure it's completely clean.

"The eyes of the nation are on Baltimore right now, especially after Freddie Gray and we have the perfect opportunity to make change," said NAACP Baltimore President Ronald Flamer.

Flamer says Commissioner-Designate Darryl De Sousa delivered that message to him and other activist leaders yesterday.

Flamer said he is confident in De Sousa's plan to address corruption; specifically, in his new corruption unit designed to investigate specific officers who came up in testimony as well as his random integrity tests and polygraph testing for officers in specialized units.

"I am 100 percent supportive of what he is planning to do over the next several years," Flamer said.

But it was made clear to the commissioner by Flamer and others, they will be watching closely as will the nation, and while not indicating whether additional indictments are coming, so will the Acting U.S. Attorney of Maryland.

"We will investigate bad policing or criminal policing if it occurs, and if it occurs it will be investigated and officers will be indicted and they will be brought into court and held accountable," Schenning said.

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