User:Amanu Jaku/Pooll Crescent Police Department Corruption
In June of 2004, WMTN TV 7 NEWS broadcasted the first in a fifteen-series expose on the corruption of the Malton drug task force under the leadership of Lieutenant Claude Innes. The investigative reporter who broke the story was Amanu Jaku, who followed the case to it's conclusion.
When Walter Saunders, the police commissioner at the time, approached Lieutenant Innes in 1982, he thought that he was approaching a decorated officer with an impeccable record. It turned out that before the drug task force had been put together, that Lieutenant Claude Innes was already a dirty cop. He would take bribes from the various gangs and crime syndicates in order to keep the status quo and prevent other groups from taking root in Malton. The occasional big bust was used to enhance his reputation without preventing a big loss to the resident criminal groups present in Malton.
When the police commissioner came forth with the offer to lead his own group, Lieutenant Innes couldn’t be happier. He was allowed to pick his own team, the ability to manage himself, and access to resources across the city. He chose five officers, Detective Paul Rickers, Detective Wes Raleigh, Detective Marc Thomas, Detective Charlotte Brooks, and Detective Van McCrea. All of them had been connected to Lieutenant Innes in one way or another during his days as a detective, and became his enforces and accomplices in what would be later dubbed a criminal empire.
Lieutenant Innes immediately went around to the various gangs and crime syndicates in Malton and apprised them of the situation. They either would continue working together with him, but in a new way, where he would be in a better position than he used to be in. Many of the groups were interested in continuing business, but a few gangs declined. They proved to be one of the first few big busts that the drug task force completed, albeit with a few violent shootouts in order to silence the few members who had worked with Lieutenant Innes or other members of the task force.
Ted Davis Incident
Everything went well for the drug task force over the next several years. The amount of big busts increased, several “major players” were removed from the streets of Malton, harmony amongst the gangs was maintained, and the members of the task force were able to secretly acquire loads of money. In the fall of 1987, Ted Davis, a rookie police officer, was found dead in his home, the apparent victim of a break-in gone wrong. The supposed culprit, Howard Felks, a man with several outstanding warrants for various drug-related charges, was caught and found guilty for the murder. In truth, Felks was framed by the task force in order to silence Officer Davis.
It turns out that Officer Davis had picked up Felks for a drug violation, but was surprised to learn that Felks had worked with Lieutenant Innes in order to snatch black tar opium from a minor gang that had recently been brought down by the task force. Officer Davis, eager to ferret out corruption in the police department, attempted to use Felks as an informant and obtain a confession of wrongdoing by Lieutenant Innes.
The plan backfired when Felks was unable to calm his nerves and made Lieutenant Innes suspicious. Lieutenant Innes brought Felks over to Officer Davis’s home under the guise of bringing back damning evidence against Lieutenant Innes. Once at the scene, Lieutenant Innes shot Officer Davis twice in the chest with a .32 revolver, killing him almost instantly. He then went over and picked up Officer Davis’s service revolver and shot Felks in the head. By planting the service revolver in Officer Davis’s hand, the .32 revolver in Felk’s hand, then taking another shot with each gun (one at the floor and one at the wall) in order to simulate fingers twitching from the wounds and to fool GSR testing on both victims.
Lieutenant Innes’s plan worked and he was able to cover-up any revelations about the drug task force’s crimes. The truth behind these events wouldn’t come forth until later when Martin Gauss, who then was a seven-year-old boy who witnessed the arrival of Lieutenant Innes and Felks and then the hasty departure of Lieutenant Innes after the shots were fired. Gauss originally didn’t come forward for fear of his own life, but revealed what he knew to Amanu when the story about the corruption of the drug task force first came to light.
The scene was investigated by the Internal Affairs department and after a thorough investigation, it was deemed that Officer Davis was killed after defending himself from Felks. The case was considered open and shut and passed quickly from the public’s eye. Things soon went back to normal for the Drug Task Force. Minor players were collared, the deals continued, and the money and drugs flowed. Everything went well until the summer of 1992.
In 1992, a large shipment of freebase cocaine was being passed into Gulsonside for distribution into Malton proper. Lieutenant Innes got wind of the shipment through his usual contacts and felt that he wanted to get a piece of the action. He and the Drug Task Force geared up for a secret raid on the Kings Row Killaz, a street gang that resided on Kingdom Row in Gulsonside.
The Kings Row Killaz specialized in boosting cars in Gulsonside and in Wray Heights, but decided to dabble in the drug trade as a way to get more money. They had a reputation of being very territorial and actually kept down violent crime in their part of the district, so most members of the police department were willing to work with them. Unfortunately, once their leader, B. “Thrash” McNills, started hitting heavy into their supply, the Kings Row Killaz started to become more of a danger to the local community.
Supplied with CI (criminal informant) information, Lieutenant Innes found that the Kings Row Killaz kept most of their stash at McNills’ mother’s (Susanna McNills) house. Quickly given the green light on the operation by the police commissioner, Lieutenant Innes and the Drug Task Force swooped in on the small two-bedroom townhouse. During the course of the raid, B. “Thrash” McNills and three other members was fatally shot by the Drug Task Force. Unfortunately, McNills was strung out on the freebase cocaine and used his own mother as a human shield while shots were being traded. Susanna McNills died of two gunshot wounds, one to the left side and the other in the neck.
An investigation was launched amid media backlash against the Drug Task Force. Community leaders decried the loss of Susanna McNills’ life in the raid and asked for justice to be done. The fatal rounds came from Detective Marc Thomas’s 9mm pistol. During the investigation he was put on paid leave, but with the only witnesses being the Drug Task Force and the evidence consistent enough with their story, Detective Thomas was cleared by Internal Affairs. The resulting backlash and accusations of cover-ups started the ball rolling for the eventual downfall of the Malton Drug Task Force.
Beginning of the End
During the next few years, a private investigator by the name of Samuel Danton started doing an independent investigation on the activities of the Malton Drug Task Force. Things were slow going, but the initial results gave Danton the idea that something else was going on with the Drug Task Force that wasn’t a part of the “Protect and Serve” motto of the police force.
It was an embarassing time for the Malton Police Department and lead to several arrests and a fatal shootout with the members of the drug task force.