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More Chicago drug convictions overturned in police scandal

Many of our readers will recall a Chicago police scandal from last year that resulted in a number of people having their convictions overturned. The story is getting national attention because the courts are once again exonerating those who were convicted in drug cases based on arrests made by the crooked Chicago police sergeant and an officer on his team.

Last week, 14 men had their convictions tossed. When added to previous exonerations, 63 people have had their convictions vacated because they involved the criminal actions of Sgt. Ronald Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed.

The New York Times reported that a spokesperson for the University of Chicago Law School’s Exoneration Project said the latest police scandal “is a stain on the city.”

The illegal police tactics were used in drug arrests made at the Ida B. Wells housing complex on the South Side. “One thing that goes without saying is the reason they were covered up is they were viewed as a disposable people who live in the housing projects,” the Exoneration Project spokesperson said. “Nobody cared. Nobody believed them.”

Watts and Mohammed were arrested after the FBI and Chicago Police Department investigators recruited an informant who gave them details about how the cops bribed him for information that enabled them to steal money collected in illegal drug transactions.

The two officers were later convicted on government fund theft charges.

State’s attorney Kimberly Foxx said the defendants in the now overturned convictions were “victims” who she hopes will “find a path forward in healing and justice.”

Those who are falsely or wrongly accused of drug crimes should contact a criminal defense attorney experienced in protecting freedom and constitutional rights.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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