Chicago’s chief prosecutor, a Black woman, was receiving praise on Monday for her office’s role in helping to exonerate 18 people convicted of crimes connected to a corrupt former city cop.
A total of 42 people have now had their convictions thrown out that were linked to Chicago Police Sergeant Ronald Watts., thanks to Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx, who has been instrumental in overturning the dozens of wrongful convictions.
“It is one of the biggest scandals in Chicago Police Department history, and I’m just grateful we have a state’s attorney’s office in place that is taking steps to address the tremendous human toll these officers and the city at large have wrought on our most vulnerable communities,” Joshua Tepfer, an attorney for 12 of the men, said in a statement sent to NewsOne.
Fox won office in 2016 campaigning on a reform platform, according to CBS Chicago. Her aim was to change the county’s reputation as the “wrongful conviction capital of the United States.”
“We must have a criminal justice system that has integrity and credibility. That means that we have to admit when things have gone wrong and actively work to fix it,” Fox said concerning this latest round of cases, according to ABC News.
In 2012, Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed were federally indicted and later pleaded guilty to taking a bribe from an informant. Watts and his team were running a “protection racket” for more than a decade, planting evidence and fabricating charges against Southside residents while facilitating their own drug and gun trade, according to the statement from the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project.
Watts’ activities were not rare. A 2015 U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Chicago Police Department revealed widespread corruption. A final report also found reasonable cause to believe that the department “engages in a pattern or practice of using force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.”
Anita Hill: 15 Photos Of Powerful Moments Speaking Out For Women
1. Hill Speaks at the National Press Club in 2000Source:Getty 1 of 15
2. Hill talks during the TIME Person Of The Year lunch in 2011Source:Getty 2 of 15
3. Hill attends "Anita" premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in 2013Source:Getty 3 of 15
4. Hill speaks during a Documentaries & Dialogue Series in Colorado in 2013Source:Getty 4 of 15
5. Hill appears on 'The View' in 2014Source:Getty 5 of 15
6. Hill Visits Pennsylvania Conference For Women in 2016Source:Getty 6 of 15
7. Hill attends the 'Confirmation' premiere in 2016Source:Getty 7 of 15
8. Hill talks with Kerry Washington during a New York Times "TimesTalks" event in 2016Source:Getty 8 of 15
9. Hill signs books at the Pennsylvania Conference For Women in 2016Source:Getty 9 of 15
10. Hill speaks at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in 2016Source:Getty 10 of 15
11. Hill addresses the crowd at the Massachusetts Conference For Women in 2016Source:Getty 11 of 15
12. Hill talks with graduates at the 2017 Emerson College CommencementSource:Getty 12 of 15
13. Hill speaks at the Texas Conference For Women in 2017Source:Getty 13 of 15
14. Hill attends the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards in 2017Source:Getty 14 of 15
15. Hill addresses graduates at the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony in 2018Source:Getty 15 of 15
Chicago’s Prosecutor Praised For Reform Efforts In Mass Exonerations was originally published on newsone.com