The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has reversed a lower court ruling, finding the Baltimore Police Department isn’t on the hook to pay a $166,000 judgment against an ex-cop who lied to justify raiding a house in Canton.
The opinion released Thursday marks a win for City Hall attorneys as they seek to distance the department from officers sued over their crimes and misconduct. The scandal of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force has given rise to a wave of lawsuits against the rogue officers and department.
Still, victims of police misconduct are left to overcome the legal protections that can shield the city from liability even if officers are found guilty of criminal conduct.
At issue for the Court of Special Appeals was whether or not Officer Adam Lewellen acted “within the scope of his employment” when he manufactured a pretext to search the Canton home of a man who had dated his ex-girlfriend.