Stating that it was important to ensure that those in law enforcement who run afoul of their sworn duties are held accountable, Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates on Monday released an updated list of 60 current and former police officers his office will not call to testify because of concerns that they are untrustworthy.
Bates removed the previous “Do Not Call” list in the spring to look at the names, examine the conduct that had been alleged and review the criteria that the office used to put police officers onto the registry. The updated list puts people in two categories: those who are currently employed, and individuals who were separated in the last five years or connected to misconduct related to the Gun Trace Task Force, a corrupt plainclothes unit whose members stole money, planted evidence and sold drugs.
The list includes the names of 11 current police officers, including Steven Angelini, who’s awaiting sentencing in U.S. District District in Baltimore on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone and cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, Lindsey Eldridge, previously said it “will move to separate him from the agency.”
“We must be the guardians, ever vigilant, to ensure a fair and just system for all,” Bates told reporters at a news conference.
His chief of staff, Angela Galeano, and Steven Trostle, chief of the Public Trust and Police Integrity Unit, joined him at the announcement.
Bates went through the new protocols about how police officers end up on the list. Here’s who will be included on the registry:
- Police officers with a “sustained” finding, filed through an internal affairs matter, that “implicates them based on evidence of behavior related to truthfulness.”
- Law enforcement facing a criminal charge or who have a conviction for a crime that calls into question his or her ability to truthfully testify.
- Bates can exercise his discretion and decide that a police officer will not be called to testify “based on evidence of behavior that calls into question the officer’s propensity to be truthful.” If that happens, he said, he will contact the police commissioner or his or her designee ahead of time.
At the same time, Bates emphasized, there are police officers who put their lives on the line every day to “shoulder the immense responsibility of keeping our community safe and helping residents in need with honor.”
The president of the Baltimore City Lodge No. 3 Fraternal Order of Police, Sgt. Mike Mancuso, could not immediately be reached for comment.
In a statement, acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley thanked Bates and his office for “producing a list of officers that reflects our current police department.”
“We are committed to getting officers with integrity issues off the streets of Baltimore and putting the best officers forward in rebuilding trust with the communities we serve,” Worley said. “I’ve said this before, ‘one bad cop is too many,’ and we will continue to work alongside the State’s Attorney Office and others in putting the best cases forward in creating a safer Baltimore for all.”