Narcs on Trial: Philly's Dope Squad Is a Pack of Criminal Thugs
Philadelphia, PA — An ex-drug cop from the Philadelphia police department testified in court on Tuesday, which likely left those in attendance with their jaws on the floor.
Former Philly cop Jeffrey Walker held little back Tuesday as he confessed to the jurors about his disgraceful past. He let them know about how he and his fellow officers set people up, planted drugs, stole money, lied on reports, and violently assaulted people — too many times to count.
According to the Associated Press,
Walker told jurors that the Philadelphia Police Department drug squad targeted white “college-boy … khaki-pants types” who were “easy to intimidate.”
That matches the description of some of the drug dealers who have testified at the six-week police corruption trial that the squad stole as much as $110,000 at a time during violent, no-warrant raids.
Lead defendant Thomas Liciardello always got a cut of the stolen money, while the others split “jobs” that they worked, Walker said. The city’s police brass often celebrated the squad’s work with splashy news conferences to announce large seizures.
Walker explained how his supervisors were pleased with the revenue and cared not about the criminal acts conducted to obtain their loot. “They liked that, as far as the bosses and supervisors were concerned. It made them look good. It was nothing but a dog and pony show,” Walker testified.
In 2013, this officer of 24 years was caught stealing $15,000 from an innocent man and planting drugs in his car. After this arrest, he was implicated in a slew of other criminal charges.
This one man singlehandedly ruined dozens and dozens of innocent people’s lives. More than 160 convictions have been overturned since Walker’s guilty plea, and dozens of civil rights suits have been filed as well.
Walker was not some random “bad apple” cop either; his entire squad was complicit in these heinous crimes.
Thomas Liciardello, Perry Betts, John Speiser, Michael Spicer, Linwood Norman – Walker’s longtime partner on the narcotics unit – and Brian Reynolds, are all on trial this week, likely seething with anger as their former partner in crime spills the beans.
In order to avoid life in prison for his disgraceful conduct, this criminal order follower has since turned into snitch extraordinaire.
Prior to his arrest, when word leaked out that Walker was going to blow the whistle to internal affairs, text messages revealed the egregious environment of the Philly PD. The messages were released by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen late Tuesday.
“Your now a rat I hope you die,” Liciardello wrote. “I will have you locked up by midnight. Goodbye loner.”
“You will be in jail before me,” Walker replied.
However, Walker’s text wasn’t accurate. It would be a year before any of Walker’s fellow cronies would face justice.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has voiced his disgust with the squad’s alleged crimes while continuing his effort to clean out and reform the 7,000-member department, the AP reports.
However, Ramsey has his work cut out for him if he is to rid the Philly PD of all the criminals within. A simple search through our archives will give a glimpse into the corruption so rife within this thousands member gang.