Twenty-five Baltimore correctional officers on Tuesday were indicted on charges of excessive force on prisoners in state-run jails, the Associated Press reported.
Maryland corrections secretary Robert Green said during a press conference that the officers in question have been on administrative leave since 2018, which is when the state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services began its investigation.
“This case represents our strong effort to root out people who don’t belong in the field where public safety and rehabilitation is the mission,” Green told the press.
“This is a disturbing case, but it does not represent nor should it cast a shadow on the commitment and integrity of the exceptional correctional professionals in this department.”
According to Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the indicted officers have been accused of assaulting and threatening inmates, tampering with evidence and falsifying documents.
“Our correctional officers have one of the most difficult jobs in all of public safety, and we will not let the criminal behavior of the few tarnish the great work of the nearly 5,000 dedicated officers who serve with distinction every single day,” Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said in a statement.
Baltimore’s prison system has a history of being fraught with poor conditions, mistreatment and corruption.
In 2013, an intricate smuggling ring was exposed inside the Baltimore City Detention Center that consisted of both inmates and officers. Further investigation revealed that a gang leader inside of the jail had impregnated four female guards, the AP says.
Additionally, in the press conference, Mosby said that 21 of the 25 indicted officers had been taken into custody.