Maryland’s highest court ruled unanimously Friday that the city of Baltimore must pay for two settlements relating to the Gun Trace Task Force police corruption scandal in which several Baltimore officers were convicted of crimes ranging from racketeering to planting evidence.
The New York Times reports that city officials argued Baltimore should not have to pay for two separate $32,000 settlements that the city reached with Ivan Potts and William James, who accused officers of planting guns on them in order to justify their arrests.
Maryland’s Court of Appeals rejected the argument that because the rogue police officers of the Gun Trace Task Force acted on their own, the city shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. The court ruled that because the scandal had gone on for so long and was so widespread, it’s unreasonable to say that the Baltimore Police Department didn’t know about the corruption of its police officers and that the city shouldn’t be held accountable.
According to WMAR-2, the judges in the case made it clear that their ruling only applied to these two cases and isn’t a blanket judgment for any and all cases related to the scandal.
“Our conclusions in Potts and James should not be read to suggest that all former members of the Department’s Gun Trace Task Force acted within the scope of employment in all instances. We are not issuing a blanket ruling for all cases involving alleged misconduct by former members of the Department’s Gun Trace Task Force,” their statement read.