Misconduct Allegations Mounting Against Former Chicago Detective
A series of lawsuits have been filed in recent years against the City of Chicago in regard to the behavior of one particular now-retired detective. The lawsuits allege that the detective was responsible for a corruption racket that covered mostly Hispanic neighborhoods on the West and Northwest Sides of the city. A number of convictions have already been vacated, including several for murder and other serious violent crimes.
According to various news outlets , the latest claims came from two men who say they were falsely accused and convicted of crimes they did not commit. One filed a lawsuit in federal court last month while the other was granted a new trial for a 1993 murder in Albany Park. The two men each spent more than 20 years in prison before getting the chance to clear their names.
The recently-filed lawsuit alleges that the detective built a false case against him during the investigation of a murder on North Kedzie Avenue in 1995. The claimant says that the detective linked him to the crime because of a loose connection to a car that vaguely resembled a vehicle seen in the vicinity of the crime. From there, the detective and prosecutors, “rigged the identification procedures with the sole purpose of framing” the then-19-year-old man, the suit claims.
Court records show that the detective was asked during a court hearing in 2013 whether he framed the man. The detective refused to answer and invoked his Fifth Amendment right to be protected from self-incrimination.
In a separate lawsuit filed in April, another man claims that the same detective framed him for a double murder after the man stopped paying the detective for protection. A report by the FBI in 2001 produced credible allegations that the detective and his partner were well-known for arresting drug dealers and making them “buy their way out of trouble.”
Thus far, 18 individuals have had their convictions vacated over allegations of the same detective’s misconduct—including 11 in just the past two years. Eight wrongful conviction suits are currently pending, and two cases against the city have already settled at a combined price tag of almost $17 million.
Preventing a Wrongful Conviction
Criminal justice experts widely agree that adequate defense counsel is the best weapon in the fight against wrongful conviction. If you have been charged with a crime, an experienced, tenacious Will County criminal defense attorney can help ensure that your rights are fully protected. Contact our office by calling 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.