Disgraced Philadelphia police officer Jeffrey Walker opened up about his many years as a dirty cop working the drug beat, revealing he stole drug money, planted evidence and lied "too many times to count." The officer is now testifying against his former colleagues in the special Philadelphia police drug squad to avoid a life sentence.
Jeffrey Walker, 46, testified to the jury on Tuesday, according to the AP. He explained that he fell into his corrupt lifestyle soon after joining the force, when he found a black garbage bag full of money during his patrolman days.
"I never saw that much money. I was a young kid. I took some money, put it in my jacket pocket."Walker continued his career for 24 years, becoming more crooked as he advanced through the ranks. The Inquirer reports that in 1999, he joined the prestigious Narcotics Field Unit, where he reportedly became the squad's muscle, along with officer Linwood Norman.
In one incident described by Walker, Norman leaned a suspect over a high-rise balcony to coerce the man into giving them his Palm Pilot passcode. Walker stood by and helped scare the suspect.
That unwarranted search and threat later yielded $1.5 million worth of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms, along with $440,000 in cash.
The squad would reportedly take up to $110,000 during their no-warrant raids.
Walker revealed the group would often target white "college-boy" types who they believed to be easy to intimidate.
Norman and Walker were called the "twin towers" during their prime, but complaints against Officer Walker began to pile up. The Inquirer reports 22 complaints were filed against the officer, forcing the city to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements. Nevertheless, Jeffrey Walker was receiving honors for bravery and teamwork.
Finally, the FBI busted him in 2013, while he tried to rob a drug dealer for $15,000. He hopes his testimony against his fellow officers will spare him a life sentence, but the plea deal isn't sitting well with his colleagues.
Squad leader Thomas Liciardello sent Jeffrey Walker a text after hearing about his plans to testify.
"You're now a rat I hope you die. I will have you locked up by midnight. Goodbye loner.""You will be in jail before me," Walker replied.
Of course, Jeffrey Walker has technically been in custody for well over a year now.
There are six defendants from the Narcotics Field Unit on trial: Thomas Liciardello, Perry Betts, John Speiser, Michael Spicer, Linwood Norman, and Brian Reynolds. Although Walker worked closely with many of them in the past, he became distant after struggling with a divorce, weight loss surgery, and other personal problems.
As a result of the trial, 160 drug convictions have been overturned. Likewise, the squad is facing 26 indictments. Civil rights lawsuits are also pending.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey expressed disgust with the corrupt cops. Officer Jeffrey Walker might turn out to be one example in a systemic problem for the Philadelphia police.
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