Philly Narcotics Cop Testifies Against Fellow Squad Members

By Paul Gaita 05/04/15

Former officer Jeffrey Walker delivered damning testimony against six fellow cops.

man hands cuffed back.jpg

Disgraced Philadelphia narcotics officer Jeffrey Walker offered damning testimony against six fellow squad officers, who are accused of stealing drug profits and planting evidence over a period of more than a decade.

Walker, who was arrested in 2013 as part of an investigation into police corruption by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, recently testified that he and six other officers in a narcotics unit led by lead defendant Thomas Liciardello stole substantial amounts of drug profits during violent raids that were often conducted without search warrants.

The arrests and confiscations garnered during the raids put the squad in good standing with police department officials, who frequently called news conferences to celebrate their work. According to Walker, the raids were “nothing but a dog and pony show” designed to keep their superiors happy and oblivious to the squad’s real actions.

Walker said that the squad would frequently target dealers he called “college-boy, khaki-pants types” because they were “easy to intimidate.”
Liciardello allegedly assigned Walker and fellow defendant Linwood Norman to intimidate their targets. On one occasion, Norman dangled a suspect over a high-rise balcony to force him to reveal his Palm Pilot code.

Walker stated that the squad often made off with more money than they were able to carry, with one raid yielding more than $110,000. Walker also recalled carrying so much cash in his police vest after a raid that he had to also wear Liciardello’s vest to conceal the bulging stacks of money.

More than 160 drug convictions have been overturned since Walker first pleaded guilty, and the Philadelphia police department is facing dozens of federal and civil rights lawsuits. Walker is hoping that his testimony will help him avoid a life sentence, but defense attorneys have pointed out that the former officer has been the subject of corruption accusations for years and in several cases, carried out cash seizures and other illegal activity without the other members of the squad.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.