Cops Running a Protection Racket in Chicago? Say It Ain’t So

JusticeI’m shocked – shocked! – to discover corruption in the ranks of Chicago PD. Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts – Chicago Tribune

OK, I’m not that shocked. Chicago – still putting the “Criminal” in the Criminal Justice System.

So Sgt. Watts would charge folks a “protection tax.” Fail to pay, and you ended up in jail on a drug charge.

Watts, who was convicted on federal charges, has repeatedly been accused of forcing residents and drug dealers alike to pay a “protection” tax and putting bogus cases on those who refused to do so.

15 people have had their convictions set aside (on one day). A total of 22 convictions have been overturned. Attorneys are calling for 500 cases to be examined.

In case after case, when Watts’ targets complained of his corruption, judges, prosecutors and internal affairs investigators all believed the testimony of Watts and other officers over their accusers, records show.

So cops, lawyers and judges gave the benefit of the doubt to the cop. In Chicago, home of Jon Burge and the Midnight Crew (tortured suspects for confession), The Special Operations Section (Extortion, kidnapping, and maybe murder-for-hire) and others.

Seven other cops – part of Watts’ unit – have been relieved of street duties pending an investigation. (Because the IA investigations were so good in the past. Not.)

Why did all this happen? Because the Criminal Justice System is not interested in Justice. It is interested in perpetuating itself. It does that by winning cases, even if they are bogus. Cops and prosecutors are not judged on Justice, but on arrests and convictions. Justice be damned.

Advertisements

I’m Shocked – Shocked – to Discover Chicago Cops Extorting Citizens.

JusticeOK, I’m not that shocked. 15 Men Cleared in First-Ever Mass Exoneration in Cook County.

Not just 1 bad apple. An entire “tactical team” was responsible for this.

They would extort residents of a housing project. Pay up or go to jail.

The police misconduct was spearheaded by [Chicago Police Department Sgt. Ronald] Watts, CPD Officer Kallatt Mohammed and other officers on their tactical team, who would routinely extort residents at the housing project. If they didn’t pay up, the cops would then allegedly plant felony-level drug amounts on them and lie about it under oath.

Watts was arrested by federal agents when he went after an undercover fed. He was sentenced to 22 months. Considering some of these guys spent years in prison, that doesn’t seem like justice.

26 people have had convictions voided, and more are being investigated.

Chicago PD – Still putting the “criminal” in “Criminal Justice System.” (Does the name Jon Burge ring a bell?)

News Flash: Chicago Cops Can Be Out of Control. (So says the DOJ)

JusticeFrom Jon Burge, to the Special Operations Section, the Chicago PD has had its share of problems. To treat it like it is breaking news, is laughable. US Department of Justice report says CPD engages in pattern of using excessive force | abc7chicago.com

The investigation portrayed a police force corroded by the use of unreasonable force – many times prompted by a factor of racism – and protected by a code of silence. The deadly force and racism issue went uncontrolled because of a lack of training, according to the DOJ report.

The article lists an abbreviated time-line of some of the issues that came to light in the past. It isn’t comprehensive.

I have a somewhat regular feature on this blog of “Cops Behaving Badly.” Here and in the archives, this designation is heavily concentrated on Chicago – because it was and is so easy. 10s of millions of dollars of settlements paid, the occasional gaffe by the Chicago’s finest, and the incidents caught on video.

Chicago Pays $6.5million for 2 Wrongful Death Suits

The police could probably bankrupt the city all by themselves. City Council Approves $6.5M Settlement in Wrongful Death Suits Involving Chicago Police | NBC Chicago

One guy they tasered 16 times. They did that even though they were told he was having “mental episodes.” But cops don’t do hospitals; they do jail. (That is a near quote.)

The other case should go to trial under the heading of depraved indifference to human suffering.

In the second case, the Finance Committee approved payment of $1.5 million to the family of Justin Cook, who died while suffering an asthma attack during arrest. Witnesses at the scene said Cook begged for his inhaler, and that one of the officers sprayed it in the air, rather than letting him use it.

No one was fired, let alone brought up on charges.

Chicago Cop Sentenced to 2 Years in Beating

He was caught on video. (Cops still haven’t figured out that cameras are everywhere.) Chicago police officer gets 2 years for beating store clerk | Chicago Sun-Times

federal jurors convicted veteran police officer Aldo Brown of using excessive force when he pummeled and kicked a South Side store clerk in front of a camera.

His lawyer says that this “sends a message” that cops can’t do “proactive” police work. Translation: The law shouldn’t apply to cops.

But the judge saw things differently.

Chicago PD – Putting the “Criminal” in “Criminal Justice System” Since the 1940s: Concealing Evidence from Defense Attorneys

“Street Files” that differed from the official files. Witness statements not turned over to the defense. Altered statements. The list goes on. Did Chicago police hide evidence? – Chicago Tribune

In the 60 cases she’s been able to compare, Gorman said she has found that more than 90 percent have information in the street file that was not in the defense file. The discrepancies run the gamut, she said, including names and accounts of eyewitnesses that apparently were never disclosed, statements in detectives’ notes that contradict later versions of typed reports and lineup cards that were missing or different from what the defense eventually saw.

The City of Chicago is denying that evidence was withheld improperly. Since the cases in question go back 60 or 70 years, they really can’t do anything else.

Video Will Rip Chicago Apart

Video of another police shooting. Hasn’t been released. Chicago is fighting to keep it from being released. The Video that will Rip Chicago Apart

October 20th of last year Chicago police responded to a report of someone slashing tires. Backup with tasers were called for. That isn’t what happened.

Only one cop opened fire, shooting 16 times in all, and the video is said to show the rounds hitting McDonald in the back, the legs, arms, neck and head, the bullets making the body jump again and again.

On Nov. 19, Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama is expected to rule whether the video should be released.

The police unions story doesn’t match that account, but instead say that the dead guy – whose family has received a $5 million settlement – lunged that officer. I guess if we ever get to see the video we will know.