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Chicago’s movement to free wrongfully incarcerated gains traction as Foxx moves to exonerate 8

By Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression (CAARPR)

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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Campaign to Free Incarcerated Survivors of Police Torture (CFIST) of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

The Campaign to Free Incarcerated Survivors of Police Torture (CFIST) of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression hails the announcement by the Cook County State’s Attorney Office in the cases of David Colon, Johnny Flores, Nelson Gonzalez, Marilyn Mulero and Jaime Rios —previously released – and Carlos Andino, Alfredo Gonzalez and Louis Robinson, still imprisoned. All are survivors of framed up, wrongful convictions at the hands of disgraced Det. Reynaldo Guevara.

In the same breath, we condemn the ongoing racist attacks by the Fraternal Order of the Police, and reactionary politicians – both Democrats and Republicans – who refuse to reckon with Chicago’s history of police misconduct or the ongoing torture of incarcerated people behind prison walls.

When Kim Foxx ran for State’s Attorney in 2016, she said Cook County was the “wrongful conviction capital of the US.” She was referring to the dark history of Chicago police detectives torturing people of color to gain false confessions.

Since taking office in 2017, she had vacated 24 of Guevara’s wrongful convictions; 212 of Sgt. Ronald Watts; and approximately 80 of other known torture cops.

With this announcement, and potentially three more Guevara survivors in the coming days, the total number of exonerated survivors of Guevara and his gang would reach 35 cases.

But, as the State’s Attorney’s Office knows, these cases are only the tip of the iceberg.

We call on the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) to take additional measures to bring justice to the people of Chicago who have long suffered the crimes of the Chicago Police Department. Since October of last year, we have organized 1000s of people to demand that police officers with established records of torturing suspects, false confessions, perjury, and subornation of perjury no longer be called as witnesses for the prosecution; and that convictions for all those framed, tortured and wrongfully convicted, particularly in cases involving detectives where an established pattern of torture, forced confession and wrongful convictions hold, are vacated.

We have used the examples of torture cops like Kenneth Boudreau, John Halloran, and James O’Brien to make our arguments. In recent weeks, several cases involving this trio were either thrown out, or a new trial was ordered. The judges referred to these cops having an established pattern of coercing suspects and having no credibility as witnesses. These rulings amplify our arguments, and directly reflect the campaign’s demands which are supported by our extensively researched report on Chicago police torture which can be found here:

Cook County Judge Obbish said Guevara “has now eliminated the possibility of being considered a credible witness in any proceeding” due to the evidence against him and his refusal to testify. This is a judgment that is now being applied to other torturer cops such as Boudreau, Halloran and O' Brien.

Hundreds of wrongfully convicted individuals remain behind bars for crimes they did not commit. The State’s Attorney must build on today’s action and accelerate the process of bringing all these survivors home.

#ChicagoIL #ChicagoAllianceAgainstRacistAndPoliticalRepression