Contact: Lawrence Greenberg, Esquire
Greenberg Law Offices, Baltimore, Maryland
Michael Wein, Esquire
Law Offices of Michael A. Wein, Greenbelt, Maryland
For Immediate Release
FORMER BALTIMORE CITY POLICE OFFICER CONVICTED ON MULTIPLE CORRUPTION AND CONSPIRACY COUNTS STEMMING FROM VIOLATIONS OF DEMETRIC SIMON’S CIVIL RIGHTS
Baltimore, MD, April 12, 2022 –
Yesterday, the last remaining Baltimore City Police Officer from the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF), to not plead guilty, was convicted within hours of all corruption and conspiracy charges. The main incident involved Officer Hankard providing a BB gun to Officers Keith Gladstone and Carmine Vignola so they could plant it at the scene of an incident where Officer Wayne Jenkins had almost killed Demetric Simon by striking him with his car and landing on top of him. Officers then violated Mr. Simon’s civil rights by filing false criminal charges against him, which led to an over 10 month imprisonment. In addition to the gun planting incident, the jury convicted Hankard of lying in 2015 on search warrant affidavits, police reports to cover up times he violated people’s constitutional protections against unwarranted searches and seizures and lying to the Grand Jury investigating these crimes.
Few criminal defendants risk jury trials in Federal Court, and this was an opportunity to fully understand the detailed corruption which led to the callous imprisonment of Mr. Simon. As lead prosecutor Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Leo Wise stated today, the “twisted logic of BPD” included planting a fake firearm along with false police reports, to justify a reckless car chase that injured Mr. Simon. “The truth did come out about Demetric Simon,” who was the first witness in this remarkable trial.
Demetric Simon, described by co-conspirator Keith Gladstone in the GTTF scandal as the primary worry the GTTF criminal conspiracy would unravel, recently filed suit seeking compensatory and punitive damages against the criminally charged officers of Keith Gladstone (plead guilty to multiple counts, awaiting sentencing), Robert Hankard (now convicted, and awaiting sentencing), Wayne Jenkins (plead guilty to other GTTF charges), Carmine Vignola (plead guilty), four other involved or supervisory police officers, and the Baltimore City Police Department itself. (Simon v. Gladstone, et. al., 1:22-cv-00549 (D. Md)).
The lawsuit comes in the wake of the implosion of the Baltimore City Police Department when its officers were caught betraying the trust of Baltimore City and its citizens. Officer Hankard, the only co-conspirator to date not to enter a guilty plea in Federal Court, had his trial delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 25, 2022, HBO Max is scheduled to stream a weekly mini-series on the GTTF scandal, based on former Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton’s book “We Own This City.”
Simon’s Complaint seeks damages for nine (9) Counts, including 42 USC § 1983 (Deprivation of Civil Rights) and §1985 (Conspiracy to Deprive of Civil Rights), 18 USC 1961 et seq. (Civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), and six State tort claims, related to Mr. Simon’s false arrest and imprisonment for at least 317 days by the Defendants, as well as other matters outlined in his Complaint for damages. The Complaint incorporates the 660-page investigative “all access” report by former Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich, published in January 2022, (avail: https://www.gttfinvestigation.org/ ) and the Maryland General Assembly’s 180-page investigative Commission report on the GTTF scandal by former Federal Judge Alexander Williams, Jr.
Despite the pandemic-delayed criminal trial, the truth about the behind-the-scenes corruption at the Baltimore City Police Department has come to light.
- Despite both the endemic “casual corruption” and “outright corruption” substantively ignored by Baltimore City here, the conspiracy to deprive Mr. Simon’s civil rights has been verified through the multiple detailed Federal investigations and guilty pleas, exhaustively detailed in Mr. Bromwich’s January 2022 Report.
- Maryland’s high Court of Appeals has confirmed victims of the GTTF officers can seek compensation for actions done within the scope of the officer’s employment. Baltimore City Police Dep’t v. Potts, 468 Md. 265 (2020).
- As the first Government witness testifying at the trial, Mr. Demetric Simon was able to convey what he witnessed and how these charges adversely affected him personally. The adage of “no one is above the law” rings true. But the responsible Baltimore City police officers didn’t just believe they were “above the law.” They felt that those who were their victims, like Mr. Simon, were “beneath the law” and could have their civil rights taken, to comport with the police officers’ selfish objectives condoned by Baltimore City.
Mr. Demetric Simon thanks the hard work and professionalism of the United States Attorney’s Office, particularly AUSA Leo Wise and AUSA Chris Rigali, who tried today’s guilty verdict. While today, there is no disputed question Mr. Simon was a victim of civil rights violations, there is still work to be done. The City of Baltimore continues to refuse to fully confront or address the corruption that left Mr. Simon to being jailed, to assist the statistical “producer” officers to continue their corrupt actions. Even in 2021, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney refused to consider “equitable credits” for the 317 days of “convictionless” “dead-time” the innocent Simon spent in jail after he was framed with the planted BB gun. Plaintiff’s Counsel continue to seek full “vindication” for Mr. Simon’s civil rights violations, and his counsels are available to help provide the media with further details on the interesting case of Mr. Demetric Simon, which led to much of the GTTF scandal being uncovered.
Please contact Lawrence Greenberg or Michael Wein for further information. A copy of the Civil Rights Complaint is attached, and locatable on PACER as well at Simon v. Gladstone, et. al., 1:22-cv-00549 (D. Md).
# # # # # #