PHILADELPHIA — A disgraced ex-police officer testifying against his drug squad colleagues acknowledged Tuesday that he stole drug money, planted evidence and lied on police paperwork too many times to count.
Jeffrey Walker told jurors that the Philadelphia Police Department drug squad targeted white “college-boy … khaki-pants types” who were “easy to intimidate.”
That matches the description of some of the drug dealers who have testified at the six-week police corruption trial that the squad stole as much as $110,000 at a time during violent, no-warrant raids.
Lead defendant Thomas Liciardello always got a cut of the stolen money, while the others split “jobs” that they worked, Walker said. The city’s police brass often celebrated the squad’s work with splashy news conferences to announce large seizures.
“They liked that, as far as the bosses and supervisors were concerned. It made them look good. It was nothing but a dog and pony show,” Walker testified.
More than 160 drug convictions have been overturned since Walker pleaded guilty and the others were named in a 26-count indictment. Scores of civil-rights lawsuits are pending over the arrests. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has voiced his disgust with the squad’s alleged crimes while continuing his effort to clean out and reform the 7,000-member department.