Seven men and two women have
drug convictions dismissed
CHICAGO – At age 14, Lloyd Newman was one of the protagonists and producers of the Peabody award-winning National Public Radio docuseries Ghetto Life 101—which chronicled the daily lives of two children growing up in the Ida B. Wells (“Wells”) housing projects. By 1996, Newman, LeAlan Jones, and six-time Peabody Award winner and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow David Isay published a best-selling book—Our America–telling the boys’ stories.
A decade later in 2006, Newman was framed by disgraced former Chicago police Sergeant Ronald Watts and members of his team. At a brief court hearing this morning, Newman’s conviction was one of nine vacated—the latest in a series of mass exonerations caused by a review of Watts and his team’s misconduct as they patrolled the Wells and other housing projects during the mid-2000s.
The dismissals bring the total to 110 Watts-related convictions tossed in what has become one of largest police scandals in Chicago history. Mayor Lori Lightfoot herself has called Watts “the Burge of our time,” referring to Chicago Commander Jon Burge who for years physically tortured African American men into false confessions.
In a sworn affidavit, Newman recalls the September 9, 2006 day when he was leaving his sister’s apartment in Wells when Watts and one of his team members, Alvin Jones, stopped and searched him. Newman was neither doing anything illegal nor did he have drugs. Undeterred, Watts arrested him anyway, producing drugs from a door frame and falsely attributing them to Newman. As Newman protested and explained that he was the subject of the NPR series and college-bound, Watts suggested to his partner Jones that perhaps they shouldn’t frame Newman. Jones, however, remained unmoved, and continued processing the false police report. Newman was jailed, convicted, and sentenced to 24 months’ probation. It was and remains his only felony conviction, and now it is gone.
In 2012, Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed were federally indicted and later pled guilty to taking a bribe from an informant. Law enforcement documents have since revealed that Watts and members of his team were running a “protection racket” for more than a decade, planting evidence and fabricating charges against Black Southside housing project residents while facilitating their own drug and gun trade.
The Illinois Appellate Court has referred to Watts and his team as “corrupt police officers,” perjurers, and “criminals,” chastising the City’s police disciplinary oversight bodies for their utter failure to do anything “to slow down the criminal” police officers during a decade of corruption.
Yet well over three years after the mass exonerations started, the City’s latest police oversight board—the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)—also has done nothing, leaving the roughly dozen Watts subordinates tied to the dismissed cases as active members of CPD. This includes Alvin Jones—who has since been promoted to Sergeant and who Newman and scores of other victims directly link to Watts’ misconduct.
In addition to Newman, Marc Giles, Clifford Roberts, Bryant Patrick, Jermaine Morris, Tyrone Herron, Eveless Harris, Trinere Johnson, and Catrina Bonner had drug convictions tossed. All allege similar misconduct from Watts and his team. Johnson and Bonner are represented by Kenneth M. Flaxman, P.C.; the remaining men are represented by the Exoneration Project.
All told, after this morning’s dismissals, 87 Black men and women have had Watts-related convictions dismissed, almost always long after they finished their sentences. Together, they were sentenced to serve over 274 years in prison.
For his 2013 federal conviction, Watts served less than 2 years in prison and one subordinate, Mohammed, served 18 months. No other officer has faced charges.
Attorneys representing the Watts victims allege that several dozen more Black men and women have made credible claims in sworn statements that they were also framed by Watts and his team.
The following 87 individuals have had convictions dismissed based on allegations they were framed by Watts and his team.
(EP) indicates they are represented by The Exoneration Project
(Flaxman) indicates they are represented by the Law Office of Kenneth N. Flaxman, P.C
|Individual||# of Convictions||Sentence|
|Ben Baker (EP)||2||18 Years – released from prison via exoneration|
|Clarissa Glenn (EP)||1||Probation|
|Lionel White, Sr. (EP/Flaxman)||1||5 years|
|Anthony McDaniels (EP)||1||12 years – released from prison via exoneration|
|William Carter (Flaxman)||3||9 years; CCDOC Boot Camp|
|Bruce Powell (Flaxman)||1||1 year|
|Robert Forney (Flaxman)||1||5 years|
|Angelo Shenault, Sr. (Flaxman)||2||3 years; 15 months|
|Angelo Shenault, Jr. (Flaxman)||3||4 years; 30 months; 2 years|
|Allen Jackson (EP)||1||1 year|
|Christopher Scott (EP)||1||Probation|
|Frank Saunders (EP)||1||4 years|
|Henry Thomas (EP)||2||4 years; 4 years|
|Jamar Lewis (EP)||1||5 years|
|Jamell Sanders (EP)||1||Probation|
|Lee Rainey (EP)||2||Probation|
|Leonard Gipson (EP)||3||2 Years; CCDOC Boot Camp|
|Lionel White, Jr. (EP)||1||Probation|
|Marcus Gibbs (EP)||1||2 years|
|Andre McNairy (EP)||1||9 years|
|Phillip Thomas (EP)||1||6 years|
|Shaun James (EP)||2||1 year; 6 years|
|Taurus Smith (EP)||1||Probation|
|Thomas Jefferson (EP)||1||4 years|
|Landon Allen (EP)||1||Probation|
|Deandre Bell (EP)||2||Probation|
|Bobby Coleman (EP)||1||4 years|
|Joshua Curtis (Flaxman)||1||4 years|
|Milton Delaney (EP)||1||1 year|
|Cleon Glover (EP)||1||3 years|
|Rickey Henderson (Flaxman)||4||3 years; 1-1/2 years; 3-1/2 years; 4 years|
|Brian Hunt (EP)||1||Probation|
|Goleather Jefferson (Flaxman)||1||1 year|
|Larry Lomax (EP)||1||Probation|
|Willie Martin (EP)||1||3-1/2 years|
|James Moore (EP)||1||1 year|
|George Ollie (Flaxman)||1||2 years|
|Mister Lucky Pearson (EP)||1||4 years|
|Nephus Thomas (Flaxman)||1||4 years|
|Vondell Wilbourn (Flaxman)||2||1-1/2 years; 4 years|
|Gregory Warren (EP)||1||Probation|
|Martez Wise (EP)||1||1 year|
|Harvey Blair (Flaxman)||1||4 years|
|George Almond (EP)||1||2 years|
|Craig Colvin (EP)||1||1-1/2 years|
|Kenneth Hicks (EP)||1||1-1/2 years|
|Octayvia McDonald (EP)||1||Probation|
|Lapon Thompson (EP)||1||2 years|
|Isaac Weekly (EP)||1||Probation|
|Deon Willis (EP)||2||Probation; 2 years|
|Cordero Payne (EP)||1||2 years|
|Zarice Johnson (EP)||2||Probation; 4 years|
|Sydney Harvey (EP)||1||4-1/2 years|
|Jermaine Coleman (Flaxman)||1||4 years|
|Jabal Stokes (Flaxman)||1||4 years|
|Robert Lindsey (Flaxman)||1||4 years|
|Germaine Sims (Flaxman)||1||2 years|
|Alvin Waddy (EP)||1||3 years|
|Kim Wilbourn (EP)||1||2 years|
|Derrick Lewis (EP)||2||2 years; 3 years|
|Gregory Dobbins (EP)||1||3 years|
|Raynard Carter (EP)||2||3 years; 1-1/2 years|
|Darron Byrd (EP)||1||1 -1/2 years|
|Chauncy Ali (EP)||1||1 year|
|Christopher Farris (EP)||1||4 years|
|Stefon Harrison (EP)||2||1 year; 4 years|
|David Mayberry (EP)||1||1 year|
|Anthony Mays (EP)||1||2-1/2 years|
|Gregory Molette (EP)||1||2 years|
|Jajuan Nile (EP)||1||3 years|
|Hasaan Potts (EP)||1||1-1/2 years|
|Calvin Robinson (EP)||1||2 years|
|Alhummza Stokes (EP)||1||3 years|
|Terrence Moye (Flaxman)||1||4 years|
|Demetris Adams (Flaxman)||1||1 year|
|Antwan Bradley (EP)||1||Probation|
|David Holmes (EP)||1||4 years|
|Bryant Patrick (EP)||2||6 years, probation|
|Derrick Mapp (EP)||1||4 years|
|Jermaine Morris (EP)||2||1 year, 2 years|
|Clifford Roberts (EP)||1||4 years|
|Marc Giles (EP)||1||8 years|
|Lloyd Newman (EP)||1||probation|
|Tyrone Herron (EP)||1||1 year|
|Eveless Harris (EP)||1||1 year|
|Trinere Johnson (Flaxman)||1||Probation|
|Catrina Bonner (Flaxman)||1||Probation|
Total = 274 years and 3 months of criminal sentences; 22 sentences of probation or boot camp.
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