BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) – The Baltimore Sun has taken to court to argue it is owed access to certain sealed court documents regarding a police task force said to have abused its power.
The memorandum in support of its argument was filed Aug. 10 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division.
The newspaper claims the press and the public have a right to access the information that is related to an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF).
The newspaper seeks an order to unseal the documents related to eight criminal cases of police officers. The paper claimed GTTF spent several years abusing its power by violating the constitutional rights of locals.
The press has a right to seek the unsealing of the document and the press and public both have common law and constitutional right to access the documents, according to the memo.
Eight of the nine-member task force were charged with crimes for abuse of power, according to the memo. Six of the members pleaded guilty, while two others were convicted back in February.
"This case involves issues of significant and legitimate public interest concerning one of the biggest police corruption scandals in Baltimore's history," the memo states.
The newspaper wrote that the government's prosecution of the GTTF scandal remains in the public interest and that the material the newspaper is seeking will help to "shed light" on the investigation.
The purpose of the task force was to clean up crime on the streets of Baltimore by getting guns and violence off the streets, the memo states.
"However, federal officials instead uncovered a corrupt police team who set people up for baseless searches, robbed people, planted fake evidence and falsely recorded overtime," the memo states.
The newspaper claims it has provided the public with extensive coverage on the matter and wants to continue its reporting with the sealed documents.
The newspaper is represented by Nathan Siegel and Lisa B. Zycherman of Davis Wright Tremaine in Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division case number 1:18-cv-02444