15 African-American have now regained their freedom and cleared of convictions after they told their story of a corrupt cop who will ask them for money, and when they refused to pay him, he will cuff them, and put drugs into their pockets.
The Cook County judge on Thursday cleared the men of their charges. The men complained about the mistreatment they receive from a police officer called Ronald Watts.
The 15 prisoners also confirm that it is a norm for police officers to shake down the African-American community or take them away if they don't pay up the cop.
According to one of the accused that Watts threw in jail, he said;
Watts always told me, ‘If you’re not going to pay me, I’m going to get you.’ And every time I ran into him, he put drugs on me. I went to prison and did 24 months for Watts, and I came back home and he put another case on me.
The men watch in horror as no actions were taken against Watts after several complaints, and Watts and is men continue to terrorise the community, extorting drug dealers, and taking money from residents.
In 2013, Watts finally pleaded guilty to stealing money from an FBI informant, and was sent to 22 months in prison.
13 of the men sent to prison by Watts are now released, while two are inside for unrelated charges. According to one of the convicts who got out early, he said that most times, they have no choice than to plead guilty for the crimes they did not commit. Pleading guilty will give a lighter sentence to the sentence the drugs found on them would have produced.
Prosecutors have now asked that the judge check the integrity unit of the Cook County Attorney’s Office, and the latest development by releasing the men on Thursday might be an effort to regain public trust.