BALTIMORE, Md. (CBS/WJZ) Instead of protecting citizens, three Baltimore City Police officers are accused of abusing their power to kidnap teens and steal their belongings. The three officers, Tyronne Francis, Gregory Hellen and Milton Smith, turned themselves in Wednesday after being indicted following a year-long investigation, according to CBS affiliate WJZ.
The station reports that in May 2009 the officers allegedly told a group of teens to scatter, then came back and picked up 15-year-old Michael Johnson. They then allegedly put Johnson in the back of an unmarked van and drove to Patapsco Valley State Park, where they dropped him off without his shoes, socks or his cell phone. He managed to walk to a gas station and called 911.
A separate incident occurred where the same officers allegedly did the same thing and dropped a different teen off in East Baltimore, reports WJZ.
Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the men were suspended with pay after the incidents, and would be suspended without pay once the charges had been filed.
Kidnapping, assault and misconduct are some of the 14 charges the three officers are facing, says the tv station.
The NAACP has been supporting the teens. WJZ reported the organization's lawyer, Roland Patterson, said, "Taking an urban city youth who does not have a car that far against his will is asking to take a fish and put him on the beach a few yards and asking him to get back to the water on his own."