Jeffrey Walker, a former narcotics officer with the Philadelphia police force, was heralded in the city as one of its best. However, Walker was a dirty cop who admitted to planting drugs and stealing cash from dealers among other offenses.
Walker testified against other officers in the narcotics division in court on Tuesday (April 14), saying that he didn’t record drug money, forged stories for police paperwork and planted evidence numerous times. In fact, Walker couldn’t recall the exact amount of times he committed the acts.
The 24-year veteran was questioned by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney, telling jurors about his various crimes in a reportedly casual fashion. Walker’s testimony was part of a larger case that led to the arrests of six other officers: Thomas Liciardello, Perry Betts, John Speiser, Michael Spicer, Walker’s former partner narcotics unit partner Linwood Norman, and Brian Reynolds. Walker earned the nickname “Batman” from local dealers, and his partner was known as “Robin.”
Walker was involved in many of the Philadelphia Police Department’s biggest drug busts and was a hailed as a hero. In 2013, an undercover sting by the FBI took down Walker. Walker said he and the drug squad shook down “college-boy, khaki pants types” because they could intimidate them.
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Under questioning Tuesday from Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney, Walker matter-of-factly walked jurors through his career as a rogue cop – from the first time he pocketed drug money as a young officer in West Philadelphia’s 16th District to the bigger hauls and bigger paydays after he joined the Narcotics Field Unit.
They operated under the leadership of Liciardello, he said, who directed them to a certain type of drug dealer – “white boys, college-boy types, khaki pants” – whom they could easily intimidate and slap around.
“I was very loyal to the guys,” he said. “I would lie for them. I would steal for them. I would abuse people for them. I wanted to be part of the squad.”
Much of Walker’s testimony corroborated stories told by the government witnesses that preceded him.
According to The Daily KOS, Walker’s confession has led the dismissal of 165 convictions, and 39 federal lawsuits against Walker and the city of Philadelphia.