(TFC) – When News2Share’s Ford Fischer was arrested in Baltimore, it sent shockwaves through the indie news community. Even though Ford’s footage winds up all over the major networks, he’s one of us. Always has been. Fischer was arrested in Baltimore by Daniel Hersl for simply filming and doing his job during the riots. The indie media community cried foul, tried to apply pressure to get Ford out of trouble, and bring Hersl down for an egregious violation of civil rights. While Ford was released, it seemed no justice would be served. Journalists at TFC network affiliate, The Pontiac Tribune, pulled no punches running the headline: “Baltimore cops abduct journalist, falsify charges”.
Ford is credentialed media who properly identified himself and was exempt from any curfew. The officer said, “I don’t care,” in response to this information. No fellow officers attempted to intervene, and while they are all condemning him as a “bad apple” now, there was no disciplinary action taken against him at the time and no outcry from within the department. The proverb holds true: the bad apple spoils the bunch.
It will come as no shock to our readers that those who violate the rights of journalists on film and get away with it will violate the rights of others. Daniel T. Hersl, 48, and Marcus R. Taylor, 31, were found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and robbery in federal court this week. The pair is part of an ongoing corruption scandal within the Baltimore Police Department. The city’s “gun trace task force” robbed and extorted the citizens of Baltimore for years. To date, 6 have pleaded guilty and 2 were convicted at trial.
The group has been found to have used illegal GPS trackers, conducted illegal searches, stole $20,000 from a married couple without any evidence of a crime, stole $100,000 from a different man’s safe, sold guns and drugs to dealers, and so on. During the Freddie Gray riots, one of the officers is said to have caught people looting a pharmacy. He confiscated the drugs and then handed them over to a dealer to sell on the street for him. The team also carried BB guns in their vehicles to plant on any innocents they killed. All of this was in addition to falsifying pay records to collect unearned pay, sometimes while they were actually on vacation.
Ford’s arrest can be seen here:
This should serve as a wake-up call to Americans. When you see footage of officers violating the rights of others on film, you can be assured it’s just the tip of the iceberg. “It was just part of the culture,” fellow officer Momodu Gondo testified, explaining why he wasn’t afraid of being caught. Ford’s arrest occurred in 2015. Many of the actions perpetrated by these officers came long after the arrest that should have cost them their jobs. How many more victims were created because Baltimore PD didn’t take action when they could?
Ford was unavailable for comment.
Disclosure notice: As pointed out in the article, Ford Fischer is a colleague and a friend.