The true story of how federal law enforcement flipped the playbook and convicted a corrupt unit of Baltimore police.
In 2015 and 2016, Baltimore was reeling after the death of Freddie Gray and the protests that followed. In the midst of this unrest, a violent, highly trained, and heavily armed criminal gang roamed the city. They robbed people, sold drugs and guns, and divided the loot and profit among themselves. They had been doing it for years. But these were not ordinary career criminals. They were the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF). Formed in 2007 to get the guns and criminals responsible for Baltimore's high crime rates off the streets, they went rogue and abused their power to terrorize people throughout the city.
On March 1, 2017, all members of the GTTF were arrested on federal racketeering charges. In Who Speaks for You?, Leo Wise, the lead federal prosecutor in the case, tells you how. Wise gives an inside look into the investigation and prosecution of this group of elite and corrupt cops. He shares the unbelievable twists and turns of the case, revealing not only what these officers did but how they were brought to justice. Wise dramatically recounts how his team put together their case, what happened during the trial and court proceedings, and how his team successfully prosecuted these extraordinary defendants. This is the firsthand story of a once-in-a-generation police corruption case told by the prosecutor who was intimately involved in every step of the investigation.
Federal prosecutor Wise delivers a riveting inside account of the yearslong investigation he led to take down a corrupt Baltimore police unit. Wise's involvement began in 2015, when he was brought into a probe of two major heroin dealers. The inquiry took a turn when Wise and his colleagues learned that a tracking device had been placed on one of the dealers' cars by a detective from the Baltimore Police Department's gun task force. The detective had bought the device himself and failed to register it in the required database; those anomalies initiated an investigation that yielded, in 2017, the indictment of seven Baltimore officers on racketeering charges involving the commission of multiple armed robberies, including of drug dealers they ripped off for money and narcotics. Most ended up pleading guilty, and, in 2018, the remaining defendants were convicted at a jury trial. Wise expertly balances detail and accessibility, writing lucidly about the case's legal intricacies and the challenges of getting jurors to view cops as criminals. This is a treat for true crime fans.