Ghosts of Black Guerrilla Family scandals past appear in new cases

As the few remaining defendants in the Tavon White-led Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) prison-gang conspiracy case involving Maryland correctional officers (CO) prepare for trial, two reminders emerged recently of how long gang-corrupted COs have been gaming the state's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS).

The first reminder is Tashma MacFadden. He's the inmate who filed suit in 2008 against CO Antonia Allison, saying she was a Bloods gang member who'd arranged for him to be stabbed and beaten in 2006, when he was at the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC) awaiting trial. McFadden eventually won a $5,000 settlement in the case, which included evidence that some inmates wanted him killed for filing it. Along the way he proved through internal DPSCS documents that in late 2006 and early 2007, 16 correctional officers, including Allison, were suspected by the agency of being gang-affiliated or gang members.

McFadden was indicted on new drug-dealing and firearms charges in federal court on Sept. 10, the same day and in the same courthouse that Allison pleaded guilty for her role in the Tavon White conspiracy. Allison is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

The other reminder comes from Derrick Toomer, who in January 2012 sued BCDC and some of its officials, including CO James Willies, claiming that the facility failed to protect him from the BGF, which had arranged for him to be assaulted repeatedly in retaliation for his son being involved in the jail-house murder of a BGF affiliate. On Sept. 18, Toomer's lawsuit survived Willies' efforts to have it dismissed.

The judge's ruling in Toomer's case explains a scenario that is essentially the same as what McFadden claims Allison did. On April 30, 2010, "while BCDC was on lock down," the ruling states, Willies "allowed an inmate—later identified as Todd Holloway—out of his cell onto [Toomer's] tier and into [Toomer's] cell, where he was sleeping." Toomer claims that "BGF orchestrated the attack," the ruling continues, and that he was "stabbed in his face, hand, and arm."

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