8 more men file lawsuits Over Convictions Tied to Former Sgt. Ronald Watts

8 men who were framed in various drug cases which were tied to former Chicago police sergeant Ronald Watts have filed lawsuits in federal court. They have filed the lawsuit against several officers, the police department and the city. These men were exonerated by the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. The lawsuits come months after they were exonerated by office of Kim Foxx.

The men say that they were convicted because of connections with tactical unit led by Watts that had shook the residents at former Ida B. Wells housing project on South Side. In 2012, both Watts and officer Kallatt Mohammad pleaded guilty to federal charges. They had pleaded guilty to stealing $5,000 from an undercover informant.

The lawsuit had make serious allegations against Watts and his team. The lawsuit say that the victims were approached and they were demanded cash, drugs, or guns. They had threatened anyone that did not comply with these demands. The arrests of the victims had taken place between 2004 and 2007. The lawsuit also claimed that the government was also involved in it as they had ignored the actions of Watts due to a ‘code of silence’. The city officials had known about Watts wrongdoings as early as 1999.

The lawsuit also says that the officers who were involved in the wrongdoings were put on desk duty in November 2017. There were about 63 convictions related to Watts and his team were overturned till to-date. Since November, there were about four ‘mass exonerations’ carried out by the state’s attorney’s office. The latest exonerations had taken place on Feb. 11, 2019. The eight men who were involved in the exonerations are now suing for damages.

The lawsuits were filed Thursday by civil rights firm Loevy and Loevy, which specializes in cases tied to the Chicago Police Department.

Managing editor of the Chicago Morning Star

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