So here's the longer story in the Sun.
What I don't get (there's a lot I don't get), is how could officers get a kick-back of $300 per car? The tow company would need to charge more than that. And the article says that approved towers are only charging $130-$140 dollars.
When I needed to tow a car, it was pretty simple. You tell dispatch you need a tow. A moment or two later KGA (dispatch) would tell you to wait for one of three(?) companies that towed from the Eastern. And then you waited. And waited. And eventually a nice older man would show up and tow the car. End of story.
Seventeen Baltimore Police Officers have been charged (just 5 live in Baltimore City). Eleven or 12 have hispanic names. Normally I wouldn't point out the ethnicity... except that the B.P.D. made a big recruiting effort in Puerto Rico a few years back. I'm not certain how many officers were hired. I assume most are good officers. I'm also assuming (but do not know for sure) that many if not most of these arrested officers were part of that recruiting push.
I mention all this because I've heard bad things about these officers since the day they were hired. But since I know none of them personally, I've been a bit dismissive of these complaints, considering them more likely to be rooted in anti-Puerto Rican attitudes than in any actually fact.
I might have been wrong.
If there's a moral in this (other than to trust what my friends tell me), perhaps it's this: do not hire too many officers at the same time. If you do, you will have to lower standards. If you lower standards, you will hire bad cops. It's not like this is the first time this has ever happened (Miami and New York City have had similar experiences). It's not unique to Baltimore. Or, for that matter, Puerto Rico. Though as US citizens go, the police in Puerto Rican do seem to have more than their fair share of problems.