BY: The Exoneration Project

STORIES: 88 Petitioners Wrongfully Convicted in Watts Scandal

To read the petition, click here.

To see a list of exhibits filed, click here

To see photos from the press conference on July 23, click here

 

On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 88 victims of disgraced former Sergeant Ronald Watts and his team filed a petition seeking to vacate their wrongful drug convictions caused by Watts and his team. The petition asks the Court to overturn 100 convictions total for the 88 Black men and women in one of the most staggering cases of police corruption in Chicago history.

 

If their judgments are vacated, this will be the largest mass exoneration in the history of Illinois. Read more about those who were impacted below.

 

 

PEOPLE IMPACTED

Page numbers refer to location in petition


(1) Cinque Abbott, 08CR05080

  • Exhibits
  • (p 38) On February 11, 2008, members of the Watts team arrested Cinque Abbott while he was playing video game with Zarice Johnson at 575 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Gonzalez, Jones, Leano, Mohammed, Nichols, and Smith. Nichols is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Mohammed is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Abbott drop a bag of drugs and run from them. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Abbott pleaded guilty to the false charge on March 25, 2008 and received a sentence of 24 months probation. Mr. Abbott avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on May 18, 2020 that the officers’ claims were false. Mr. Johnson, who has had two false convictions related to Watts vacated, and another eyewitness, Gwendolyn Johnson, both submitted sworn statements in support of Mr. Abbott. Ex. 117. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(2) Crystal Allen, 07CR10432(01) & 07CR16190(03)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 38) Crystal Allen was framed twice within months by Watts and his team. On April 14, 2007, Allen was in a sixth-floor apartment at the 527 building in Ida B. Wells with some other people. While there, Watts and Mohammed pounded on the door and pushed their way into the apartment. When inside, Watts shook Allen down for information. When Allen did not provide the information he wanted, she was arrested despite having no drugs and not doing anything illegal. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. This is Case No. 07CR10432(01). Then, three months later on July 18, 2007, Allen was on bond and just outside the 527 building when Jones, Mohammed and other officers detained her and several others, including Paul Harvey, Shawn Clark, and Joey Fenton (Fenton is also a Petitioner in this case). Mohammed asked all of them “who wanted to work,” and those who said “no” were all falsely arrested. Harvey, Clark, and Fenton all have signed sworn statements corroborating Allen’s allegation. Jones and Nichols are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. Ex. 118. [Exoneration Project]

 

(3) George Almond, 08CR9254(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 39) George Almond was previously exonerated and certified innocent in a Watts-related conviction in Case No. 06CR19708(01). Shortly after he served his time on that case, Almond was framed again. This time, on April 23, 2008, Almond was just speaking with a girl when Watts and Mohammed detained him for no reason. This was not unexpected, as since Almond was released from prison Watts had been demanding Almond give him money and making veiled threats to him if he didn’t. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officer respectively, and Jones attested to the reports. Ex. 119. [Exoneration Project]

 

(4) Deonta Anderson, 04CR02627(01) & 04CR19910(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 40) Anderson was framed twice by Watts and his team. On December 29, 2003, Watts detained Anderson and his friend Raheem Denard for no reasons and asked for information about the drug trade at Ida B. Wells. When Anderson couldn’t tell him anything, Watts planted drugs on him. Denard has given a sworn statement corroborating this allegation. Jones and Young are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. At the preliminary hearing, Jones’ testimony differed widely from what was in the vice case report, including both the description that the supposed informant gave of the drug seller and even the drugs actually recovered from Anderson—at the hearing Jones testified it was heroin but the vice case report claims it was cocaine. This is Case No. 04CR2627(01). Just six months later, on July 22, 2004, Anderson was just leaving Aqueelah Denard’s apartment in Ida B. Wells when Watts and other officers detained him again. Watts claimed that Anderson’s mother had been “talking shit” to him and told Anderson he was locking him up in retaliation unless Anderson gave him information. Apparently for failing to comply, Watts planted drugs on him again. Aqueelah corroborates the allegation in a sworn statement. So does Anderson’s mother, Regina Anderson, who admits that after her son’s first arrest but before this one, she encountered Watts and “cursed him out for framing my son,” to which Watts responded that he was going to do it again and to “[g]et the fuck out of his house.” Regina added that she saw Watts again after the second arrest, and Watts laughed at her about locking her son up a second time. Jones and Young are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. Once again, Jones’ testimony at the preliminary examination differs widely, as he sometimes testifies that he detained Anderson just outside his third-floor apartment but other times says it was outside in front of the whole

 

(5) Herbert Anderson, 04CR14147(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 40) On May 15, 2004, Herbert Anderson was arrested inside his apartment. Anderson had awoken from bed and answered his door in the nude only to be confronted by Watts and his team, who pushed their way into his home, even cutting the lock with bolt cutters. Once inside, Watts forced the naked Anderson to sit in a chair while officers searched his apartment. When they didn’t find anything, Watts planted drugs on Anderson and stole his money. Gonzalez was the first arresting officer. Ex. 121. [Exoneration Project]

 

(6) Anthony Baker, 03CR16104(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 40) Anthony Baker was in a fifth-floor apartment at an Ida B. Wells building on June 24, 2003 with Christopher Turner (who is also a Petitioner in this case) and Elgen Moore when Watts and other officers entered the apartment. They immediately detained and searched all of them, but they had no drugs. Watts then announced he recovered heroin from behind the refrigerator in the apartment. Watts falsely attributed the heroin to Baker and fabricated a story of observing a hand-to-hand transaction. Watts is noted specifically as being on the scene and the officer who recovered the drugs. Gonzalez is the first arresting officer. Turner and Moore have sworn statements corroborating Baker’s allegations. Ex. 122. [Exoneration Project]

 

(7) Teshama Beal, 05CR17772(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 41) On August 10, 2005, Watts entered Teshama Beal’s apartment without her permission, asked where her cousin was, and demanded money. Beal offered him the $10 she had in her pocket but otherwise said she had no other money. Watts then searched her apartment and uncovered $20. Watts then accused Beal of lying. He then detained and eventually arrested her, fabricating a drug case. Smith and Gonzalez are the first and second reporting officer, respectively, and Gonzalez attested to the reports. Ex. 123. [Exoneration Project]

 

(8) Jimmie Bell, 04CR17531(01) 

  • Exhibits
  • (p 41) Prior to Jimmie Bell’s false arrest, Watts and Jones illegally detained, beat up, and attempted to shake him down. Then, on May 22, 2004, Watts and two other officers detained Bell, Paul Harvey, and another man. None of them were doing anything illegal or in possession of any drugs. Nevertheless, Watts obtained drugs and planted them on Bell and Harvey. Summers is at first reporting officer. Harvey has given a sworn statement corroborating Bell’s allegations. Ex. 124. [Exoneration Project]  

 

(9) Percy Bolden, 06CR15530

  • Exhibits
  • (p 41) On June 20, 2006, members of the Watts team arrested Percy Bolden while he was playing chess in Madden Park, just east of the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Bolton, Gonzalez, Leano, Mohammed, Nichols, and Smith. Nichols is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Leano is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Bolden drop a bag of drugs and run away from them. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Bolden pleaded guilty to the false charge on September 14, 2006 and received a sentence of 30 months. Mr. Bolden avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on August 28, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Mr. Bolden also submitted the sworn statement of Thomas Nobles, his chess partner on the day of his false arrest, to corroborate his innocence. Ex. 125. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(10) Darryl Boyd, 05CR26241(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 42) On September 26, 2005, Darryl Boyd went to visit his cousin that lived in Ida B. Wells. Boyd was waiting in the lobby for him when Watts and other officers detained Boyd and demanded information about drugs. When Boyd told them he had no information, Watts and another officer beat him. Eventually, Watts produced drugs and falsely attributed them to Boyd. While out on bond, Boyd encountered Watts while Boyd was working at Fuddruckers, and Watts mocked him. Young and Jones are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. Ex. 126. [Exoneration Project]

 

(11) Glen Braboy,  08CR05883

  • Exhibits
  • (p 42) On February 24, 2008, members of the Watts team arrested Glen Braboy while he was walking with his girlfriend, Diana Johnson, on South Vincennes Avenue near 37th St, in the vicinity of the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Gonzalez, Jones, Leano, Mohammed, Nichols, and Smith. Nichols is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Gonzalez is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that Mr. Braboy had a bag of drugs in his possession when they arrested him. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Braboy pleaded guilty to the false charge on April 8, 2008 and received a sentence of 2 Years. Mr. Braboy avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on September 7, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 127. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(12) Javon Bradley, 08CR12389(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 43) On June 4, 2008, Javon and his sister Sharday Bradley were visiting friends at Ida B. Wells. Javon had been detained and threatened by Watts previously. On that day, one of Watts’ officers, believed to be Officer Smith, detained Javon for no reason and brought him inside the building. Watts and the other officer then planted drugs on him. Sharday corroborates the allegations. Smith and Leano are the first and second reporting officer, respectively, and Smith attested to the reports. Ex. 128. [Exoneration Project]

 

(13) Warren Brakes, 07CR20646

  • Exhibits
  • (p 43) On September 15, 2007, members of the Watts team arrested Warren Brakes while he was at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Jones, Lewis, Mohammed, and Smith. Lewis is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Mohammed is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that Mr. Brakes volunteered that he was holding a bag of drugs in his pocket. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Brakes pleaded guilty to the false charge on February 14, 2008 and received a sentence of 6 Years. Mr. Brakes avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on February 2, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. A second police report shows that the officers arrested thirteen other people at the same time and at the same location of the arrest of Brakes. This report corroborates Mr. Brakes’s statement that the officers arrested a large group of people and chose to wrongfully charge Brakes for drugs because he had a parole warrant. There is no explanation for the arresting officers’ decision to prepare separate police reports that make no reference to the other. Ex. 129. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(14) Vernell Breeland, 04CR0774(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 43) On March 22, 2004, Vernell Breeland was in the lobby of Ida B. Wells talking to his sister Rebecca Breeland on the phone when officers grabbed him and detained him. Watts then approached Vernell and asked him questions about his Rebecca’s best friend, Charlene. Charlene had gotten in a fight with Watts’ girlfriend at the time, “Mella,” and Watts was aware Rebecca knew Charlene. When Vernell said he did not know where Charlene was, Watts arrested him and fabricated drug charges against him. His sister Rebecca corroborates these allegations, both in that her phone call with her brother stopped abruptly and she could hear commotion, and that Vernell later told her Watts falsely arrested him after asking about Charlene. Young and Jones are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. Ex. 203. [Exoneration Project]

 

(14) Jason Brown, 07CR16522(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 44) On July 17, 2007, members of the Watts team arrested Jason Brown while he was leaving 559 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Jones, Lewis, Mohammed, and Smith. Jones is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Smith is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that Mr. Brown was in possession of 33 bags of cannabis, 13 bags of heroin, and 21 bags of crack. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Brown tossing bags of drugs into a sixth floor apartment. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Brown pleaded guilty to the false charge on June 17, 2008 and received a sentence of 3 Years. Mr. Brown avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on September 27, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 130. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(15) Sean Bush, 07CR08635(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 44) Sean Bush was stopped and shaken down by Watts and his crew several times before his arrest on March 29, 2007. On that date, Bush was going to visit his friend Orlando McIntosh (“Maine”) on the 3rd floor of an Ida B. Wells building when there was commotion and people started running. Bush hurried into his McIntosh’s apartment. As they tried to shut the door, a man’s hand got caught in the door. Police then started beating on the door until Bush and McIntosh opened it. As soon as they did, Watts, Jones, and another officer entered, and Jones punched Bush in the face. The officers arrested both of them, but Watts let McIntosh go after he paid him $1,500. McInstosh corroborates these allegations in a sworn statement. Jones and Nichols are the first and second reporting officer, respectively, and Jones attested to the reports. The reports also indicate that a woman named Patricia Gloster was arrested after she was seen buying drugs from Sean Bush; Gloster has reviewed that report and, in a sworn affidavit, confirmed it is a lie. Ex. 131. [Exoneration Project]

 

(16) Jerome Bynum, 04CR27282(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 45) On October 10, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested Jerome Bynum while he was outside of a rowhouse on E. 40th St. near S. Langley Avenue, in the vicinity of the Ida B. Wells homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Edwards, Jones, Mohammed, Rodriguez, Summers, and Young. Summers is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Rodriguez is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Bynum selling drugs with William Crawford and hiding drugs in his mouth. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Bynum pleaded guilty to the false charge on November 20, 2006 and received a sentence of probation. Just one day after the arrest, Mr. Bynum filed a formal complaint with the Chicago Police Department and swore to the truth of an affidavit averring that the arresting officers used excessive force against Mr. Bynum and framed him. CPD failed to meaningfully investigate Mr. Bynum’s complaint. Mr. Bynum avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on December 3, 2018 that, as he stated in 2004, the officers’ claims were false. Mr. Crawford is also a Petitioner; his sworn statement corroborates Mr. Bynum’s. Ex. 132. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(18) Lugene Claybon, 07CR18034(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 45) In 2007, Watts repeatedly solicited Lugene Claybon (who has had a spinal cord injury and has used crutches or a wheelchair for two decades) for information about Mister Lucky Pearson, who was Claybon’s close friend. Watts said he was looking for Pearson and if Claybon did not tell him where he was, Watts would frame Claybon. On July 27, 2007,[1] Watts and his team detained Claybon and several others, including George Almond, even though none of them were doing anything illegal. Watts instructed his team to let everyone else go except for Claybon, who Watts again asked about Mister Lucky Pearson. Claybon gave no information, so Watts arrested him and fabricated drug charges. Pearson was arrested just four months later and convicted; his conviction is one of the 109 that has since been vacated, and Pearson was certified innocent. Pearson has since passed away. Leano and Nichols are the first and second reporting officer, respectively, and Leano attested to the reports. Almond corroborates the allegations ins a sworn statement. Ex. 133. [Exoneration Project] Claybon’s affidavit has a scrivener’s error that incorrectly lists the date of his arrest as July 7, 2007.

 

(19) Eson Claybron, 06CR05735(01) & 07CR21963(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 46) Eson Claybron was framed twice. On February 14, 2006, Claybron was visiting with a friend in the lobby of an Ida B. Wells building when Watts and his crew entered and detained them for no reason. Watts then stole Claybron’s money, demanded more, and planted drugs on him when Claybron had no more to give him. Gonzalez and Bolton are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. This is Case No. 06CR05735(01). A year-and-a-half later on September 28, 2007, Watts framed Claybron again as he was leaving his cousin’s apartment at Ida B. Wells. Watts’ officers detained and searched him for no reason, and Watts then planted drugs on him for Claybron’s purported attempts to allude detention. This is Case No. 07CR21963(01). Lewis and Mohammed are the first and second reporting officer, respectively, and Gonzalez attested to the reports. In Claybron’s sworn statements, he insisted that Watts repeatedly demanded money from him to avoid arrest, even doing so one time in front of Eson’s mother, Beverly Claybron. Beverly has corroborated that allegation in a sworn affidavit. Claybron also insisted that Watts continued to harass and even physically assault his family members. An OPS Complaint (CR# 1017012) corroborates that allegation. Ex. 134. [Exoneration Project]

 

(20) Jermaine Coleman, 03CR05599

  • Exhibits
  • (p 47) On January 20, 2003, members of the Watts team arrested Jermaine Coleman while he was at his cousin’s home at 574 E. 36th St. in the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Cadman, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, and Summers. Summers is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Ridgell is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Coleman selling drugs, that they chased him to the fifth floor of the building before arresting him, and that they found drugs in his possession when arresting him. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Coleman pleaded guilty to the false charge on September 7, 2004 and received a sentence of 1 Year. Mr. Coleman avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on December 4, 2017 that the officers’ claims were false. In the same sworn statement, Mr. Coleman attests to his innocence in Case Number 05 CR 22312(01). The State moved to vacate Mr. Coleman’s conviction in that case on September 24, 2018. Ex. 135. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(21) Laurarence Coleman (AKA Diana Rena), 08CR09137(01)

  • Exhibits
  • ((p 47) On April 21, 2008, members of the Watts team arrested Laurarence Coleman while she was walking past 575 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Gonzalez, Jones, Leano, Lewis, Mohammed, Nichols, and Smith. Nichols is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Leano is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they came across Ms. Coleman in the lobby of 575 E. Browning during a “premise check” and that she tried to hide drugs in her pants pocket. Even though she was innocent, Ms. Coleman pleaded guilty to the false charge on June 12, 2008 and received a sentence of 18 Months. Ms. Coleman was charged and convicted under the name Diana Rena. Ms. Coleman avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on October 2, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. The claim that Ms. Coleman was arrested in a “premise check” is contradicted by reports created by the arresting officers stating that they were conducting a “reverse sting” at the same time and location of Ms. Coleman’s arrest. The “reverse sting” purportedly netted eight arrests. None of the arrest reports for the eight arrestees reference Ms. Coleman’s arrest and Ms. Coleman’s reports do not reference any of the other arrests. Ex. 136. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(22) Michael Conley, 04CR05423(01) & 07CR07710(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 48) Michael Conley went to trial in Case No. 04CR5423(01), and both he and witness Glenn Miller (a security guard with the Board of Education) testified that he was entirely innocent, detained by Watts and his team for no reason, and framed for drugs he did not possess. Bolton was the State’s only witness, and he testified that he was with Jones, Young, Mohammed, Edwards, Ridgell, and Summers during the arrest. During closing argument, Conley’s attorney explicitly argued that Bolton lied, whereas the State relied on the supposedly “credible, honest testimony” of Bolton—a witness they now refuse to call in any case because of concerns about his credibility. Ex. 90. The judge found Conley guilty explicitly based on a positive credibility finding of Bolton, which would and could never happen today. As to Case No. 0CR7710(01), on January 29, 2007, Conley (who was on parole) was in an Ida B. Wells building when everyone started running for reasons unknown to him. Instinctually, Conley, too, started running. Then, weeks later, officers arrested him for a drug crime from that day. Along with Jones and Smith, Watts is specifically noted as on the scene during the January 29, 2007 vice case report, and Watts is well-known to retaliate against individuals who previously testified honestly against his team, as Conley did in the 2004 case. Smith and Jones are the first and second reporting officer, respectively. Ex. 137. [Exoneration Project]

 

(23) Tracy Cooper(AKA Marcus Washington), 02CR27165

  • Exhibits
  • (p 49) On October 1, 2002, members of the Watts team arrested Tracy Cooper while he was standing outside a rowhouse at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Edwards, Jones, Ridgell, and Summers. Summers is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Jones is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Cooper selling drugs to two people inside 574 East 36th Street, that he had a bag of drugs in his right hand, that he tried to run from officers, and that he threw the bag of drugs to the ground. Mr. Cooper was charged under the name Marcus Washington. He testified truthfully at trial that the officers’ claims were false, but the judge found him guilty and sentenced him to 6 years. Notably, three of Mr. Cooper’s co-defendants were acquitted three months earlier when Judge Sumner found Officer Jones’s testimony about the arrest not credible. Mr. Cooper avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on October 7, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false and that his trial testimony was truthful. Another co-defendant of Mr. Cooper’s, Erica Goree, is also a Petitioner. Ex. 138. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(24) William Crawford, 04CR27282(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 49) On October 10, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested William Crawford while he was on the porch of the rowhouse at 555 E. 40th St., in the vicinity of the Ida B. Wells homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Edwards, Jones, Mohammed, Rodriguez, Summers, and Young. Summers is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Rodriguez is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Crawford taking money and directing people to Jerome Bynum to get drugs. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Crawford pleaded guilty to the false charge on December 1, 2004 and received a sentence of probation. Mr. Crawford avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on December 3, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Mr. Bynum is also a Petitioner; his sworn statements, submitted to the Chicago Police Department in 2004 and to the CCSAO in 2018, corroborate Mr. Crawford’s. Ex. 139. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(25) Corey Davis, 05CR03218

  • Exhibits
  • (p 50) On January 8, 2005, members of the Watts team arrested Corey Davis while he was walking through the lobby of 527 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Young is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Jones is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Davis selling drugs, that they saw him holding a bag of drugs, and that they found drugs on his person. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Davis pleaded guilty to the false charge on February 15, 2005 and received a sentence of probation. Mr. Davis avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on July 24, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 140. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(26) Greg Dobbins, 08CR11379(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 51) Greg Dobbins was previously exonerated and certified innocent in a Watts-related conviction in Case No. 04CR08728(01). Years later, he was framed again. On May 23, 2008, Greg Dobbins was outside the 575 building at Ida B. Wells when Watts and Mohammed pulled up. They detained Dobbins and others for no apparent reason and brought Dobbins inside the lobby. Several other people were being detained inside the lobby by other officers on Watts’ team, including Mahlik Washington. Eventually, Watts planted drugs on Dobbins. Washington corroborates Dobbins’ allegations in a sworn statement. Dobbins litigated a motion to suppress statements, where the mother of his child, Katrina Crawford, confirmed that she witnessed plain clothes officers just gather up many individuals, including Dobbins, and order them into the lobby of a building. Lewis and Mohammed are the first and second reporting officer, respectively; Lewis testified at the motion to suppress; and Mohammed attested to the reports. Ex. 141. [Exoneration Project]

 

(27) Joey Fenton, 07CR16190(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 51) Joey Fenton is the co-defendant of Crystal Allen, who is also a Petitioner in this case. Prior to Fenton’s false arrest in this matter, Watts had shaken him down for money and threatened him with false arrest if Fenton did not pay him. Then, on July 18, 2007, at an Ida B. Wells building, Watts, Jones, and other officers arrived at Fenton’s apartment. They detained him even though he had no drugs or guns and was not doing anything illegal. They took him to the lobby, where others were there, including Crystal Allen, Paul Harvey, and Shawn Clark. At some point, Jones produced a gun and said he was putting it on Fenton. Later at the station, an officer threatened to plant drugs on him. Fenton eventually convinced Mohammed and Watts not to frame him (Mohammed was friends with Fenton’s mother’s boyfriend), and the officers let him go. This was over Jones’ objection, who complained that he had already done the paperwork. Indeed, the vice case report indicates Fenton was Offender Number 1 but was “released without charging per Watch Com.” Despite this notation, there were, in fact, charges and when Fenton did not show to court, a warrant issued. He was arrested on that warrant four years later, which led to Fenton’s conviction for a fabricated drug crime. Crystal Allen, Paul Harvey, and Shawn Clark all corroborate these allegations in sworn statements. Jones and Nichols/Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Smith attested to the reports. Yet the factual basis for the guilty plea was Mohammed’s proffered testimony. Ex. 142. [Exoneration Project]

 

(28) Tyrone Fenton, 06CR04365(03)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 51) After the funeral of Wilbert Moore (aka “Big Shorty” on January 28, 2006 (see supra ¶ 7), Watts and his team detained many people who were just hanging out in the lobby of 559 E. Browning, including Tyrone Fenton, Gregory Haynes, and Torrence Ivory—the latter two are also Petitioners in this case. Watts shook down Fenton for information about drugs and arrested Fenton thereafter. Haynes and Ivory corroborate these allegations in sworn statements. Jones and Mohammed are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Leano attested to the reports. Ex. 143. [Exoneration Project]

 

(29) Christine Fisher, 04CR10663(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 52) On July 21, 2003, Christine Fisher was at Ida. B. Wells visiting some friends. As she was coming down the stairs she was detained by Watts and his team. She was doing nothing illegal and had no drugs on her. While being detained, Watts showed her drugs and planted them on her. Bolton is the first reporting officer, and Ridgell and Summers are listed as reporting officers as well at the end of the vice case report. Ex. 144. [Exoneration Project]

 

(30) Michael Flagg, 02CR07496

  • Exhibits
  • (p 52) On January 19, 2002, members of the Watts team arrested Michael Flagg while he was outside the front door of 574 East 36th St. at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Gonzalez, and Spaargaren. Gonzalez is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Spaargaren is the second arresting officer. One version of the police report claims that Mr. Flagg was arrested at “540 E. 38th St,” but another version claims that the arrest occurred at “540 E. 36th St.” The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Flagg holding a clear plastic bag with smaller bags inside of it. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Flagg pleaded guilty to the false charge on March 13, 2002 and received a sentence of probation. Mr. Flagg avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on January 10, 2020 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 145. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(31) Anthony Gayles, 04CR06177

  • Exhibits
  • (p 53) On February 7, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested Anthony Gayles while he was in the home of Shirley Johnson at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, and Young. Jones is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Young is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Gayles holding a bag of drugs. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Gayles pleaded guilty to the false charge on March 24, 2004 and received a sentence of 18 months. Mr. Gayles avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on October 18, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 146. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(32) Darnell Goodwin, 03CR16811(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 53) On July 2, 2003, Darnell Goodwin was in a third-floor apartment in the 559 E. Browning building when there was a knock on the door. A woman in the apartment opened the door. Watts and Jones immediately handcuffed Goodwin and then searched the apartment. Goodwin had no drugs, was not doing anything illegal, and nothing illegal was found in the apartment. Watts left while Jones detained Goodwin and later reappeared with drugs that he falsely claimed were Goodwin’s. It appears Goodwin was targeted by Watts because Goodwin had twice gone to the front desk of the police station at 51st and Wentworth to complain about Watts harassing him and shaking him down previously. Jones and Summers are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 147. [Exoneration Project]

 

(33) Erica Goree, 02CR271650(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 53) On October 1, 2002, members of the Watts team arrested Erica Goree in the Ida B. Wells Homes while she was walking to the Public Aid Office at 39th and Pershing. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Edwards, Jones, Ridgell, and Summers. Summers is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Jones is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Ms. Goree hand drugs to several people in exchange for money and that she was holding a bag of drugs. Even though she was innocent, Ms. Goree pleaded guilty to the false charge on November 13, 2002 and received a sentence of 4 years. Mr. Goree avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on February 28, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false, and that she was framed because she stopped giving Watts information about drug sales in the area. Notably, three of Ms. Goree’s co-defendants were acquitted when Judge Sumner found Officer Jones’s testimony about the arrest not credible. Another co-defendant of Ms. Goree’s, Tracy Cooper (AKA Marcus Washington) is a Petitioner. Ex. 148. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(34) Lakiya Gresham, 04CR16456(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (54) Lakiya Gresham gave a sworn statement corroborating the allegations of her boyfriend Bryant Patrick regarding his false arrest on December 16, 2004. She was an eyewitness and in an apartment with Patrick when Watts and his team framed him. Patrick was exonerated and has been certified innocent on that case, meaning her allegations and statements were reliable. Yet, Gresham has her own wrongful conviction that remains intact. On that date, June 16, 2004, Watts and his team kicked down the door to her apartment. They then unlawfully detained her. Finding nothing illegal, Watts planted drugs on her. Gresham explains that Watts promised to target her for false arrest because she complained to Watts about continually harassing her boyfriend Patrick. Bryant Patrick’s sworn statement corroborates Gresham’s allegation. Ex. 92, at ¶ 25. Young and Jones are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Moreover, Gresham was falsely arrested a second time while on probation in this case by Watts and his crew. In that instance, Gresham was acquitted after a directed verdict. The transcripts reflect that after the acquittal while she and the Judge were talking about her probation in Case. No. 04CR16456(01), Gresham specifically told the Judge that Officer Young—the State’s witness who testified about an onsite drug arrest and is the first reporting officer on the 2004 arrest at issue here as well—lied in his testimony. T. 25 (“Court: You’re on probation. All right. Gresham: Uh-huh. Court: I don’t know what happened out there. You gave something to someone and someone ran away. Gresham: That wasn’t true.”). Ex. 149.  [Exoneration Project]

 

(35) Darryl Hall, 06CR06703(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 55) Watts had victimized Darryl Hall on many occasions, demanding money in exchange for avoiding false arrest. Hall’s girlfriend at the time, Hasina Jameson, as well as his sister, Paris Simms, witnessed or otherwise corroborated these encounters in sworn affidavits. Then, on February 19, 2006, Hall was in the lobby of an Ida B. Wells building after visiting a friend when Watts and other officers detained him for no reason. Despite repeated and explicit offers from Watts to let him go if Hall paid him off, Hall did not do so. Watts, accordingly, fabricated a drug case. Bolton and Gonzalez are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Gonzalez attested to the reports. Hall’s sister, Victoria Sims, corroborates that Hall immediately outcried about his innocence and misconduct. Ex. 150. [Exoneration Project]

 

(36) Darnell Harris, 08CR06504(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 55) Darnell Harris is the co-defendant of Trinere Johnson. Johnson’s conviction on this matter has been dismissed and she has been certified innocent. They were all also arrested at the same time as Angelo Shenault, Jr., who was charged separately in Case No. 08CR06802(01). Shenault’s conviction has also been vacated and he was certified innocent. On March 3, 2008, Darnell Harris was in an apartment at the 574 building of Ida B. Wells when Watts and his officers arrived. After meeting separately with V-House, Watts came out and planted drugs on Harris. Harris was arrested and charged under the surname Trabeck. Statements from Johnson and Shenault corroborate Harris’ allegations. Officers Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Jones attested to the reports. Ex. 151. [Exoneration Project]

 

(37) Maurice Harris, 06CR18526(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 56) Maurice Harris is the co-defendant of Zarice Johnson. Johnson’s conviction on this matter has been dismissed and he has been certified innocent. On July 24, 2006, Harris was in an Ida. B. Wells building when Watts and his team arrived. They detained and searched him and later Johnson for no reason. Finding nothing, they continued to hold them until Watts came back and planted drugs on them. Johnson’s statement corroborates Harris’ account. Officers Smith and Jones are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 152. [Exoneration Project]

 

(38) Gregory Haynes, 06CR04365(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 56) On January 28, 2006, Watts and his team detained many people who were just hanging out in the lobby or the front of 559 E. Browning, including Gregory Haynes, Tyrone Fenton, and Torrence Ivory, all of whom are petitioners.  Watts and his team let everyone go except those three men, who were framed for a drug crime. Fenton and Ivory corroborate these allegations in sworn statements. Jones and Mohammed are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Leano attested to the reports. Ex. 153. [Exoneration Project]

 

(39) Antonio Haywood, 05CR8935(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 56) On March 14, 2005, Antonio Haywood was simply visiting with his friend outside an Ida B. Wells building when he entered the building to go to the bathroom. Everyone started running when police officers just threw him to the ground. They detained him when an officer that Haywood now knows as Watts showed him a bag of drugs and falsely claimed he threw it out the window. At the station, Antonio called his mother, Jerline Haywood, and immediately told her he had been framed for a drug crime. Jerline has given a sworn statement corroborating this phone call. Nichols and Leano are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Nichols attested to the reports. Ex. 154. [Exoneration Project]

 

(40) Sonny Hendricks, 08CR756(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 57) On December 6, 2007, Sonny Hendricks was leaving a friend’s apartment at Ida B. Wells when Watts and his team detained him for no reason. Watts then demanded some information about someone named “187;” Hendricks had no idea what he was talking about, and when he could not answer that question, Watts pulled a bag of drugs out of his pocked and framed him. Smith and Jones are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Jones attested to the reports. Ex. 155. [Exoneration Project]

 

(41) Larry Hinton, 08CR21470(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 57) On May 30, 2008, members of the Watts team arrested Larry Hinton while he was in a car on Michigan Ave close to E. 40th, in the vicinity of the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Jones, Leano, Lewis, Mohammed, Nichols, and Smith. Lewis is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, Mohammed, is the second arresting officer, and Nichols is listed as the attesting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Larry Hinton sell drugs out of the car window and hand an object to his cousin, Roy Hinton, that contained 21 bags of heroin, which Roy threw out the window. Even though he was innocent, Larry Hinton pleaded guilty to the false charge on May 4, 2009 and received a sentence of 3 Years. Larry Hinton avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on September 21, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Roy Hinton, who is also a petitioner, corroborates Larry’s innocence in his own sworn statement. Another witness, Sherrod Gibbs, submitted a sworn statement in support of Roy and Larry. Ex. 156. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(42) Roy Hinton, 08CR21470(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 58) On May 30, 2008, members of the Watts team arrested Roy Hinton while he was in a car on Michigan Ave close to E. 40th, in the vicinity of the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Jones, Leano, Lewis, Mohammed, Nichols, and Smith. Lewis is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, Mohammed is the second arresting officer, and Nichols is listed as the attesting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Roy Hinton throw an object out the window before the arrest and that the object contained 21 bags of heroin. Even though he was innocent, Roy Hinton pleaded guilty to the false charge on May 28, 2009 and received a sentence of 1 Year. Roy Hinton avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on September 21, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Roy Hinton’s cousin, Larry Hinton, was charged with Roy. Larry is also a petitioner, and he corroborates Roy’s innocence in a sworn statement. Another witness, Sherrod Gibbs, submitted a sworn statement in support of Roy and Larry. Ex. 157. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(43) Terrance Hogans, 04CR11813(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 58) On April 23, 2004, Terrance Hogans was playing dice in friends in front of Ida B. Wells when Watts walked up to him, patted him down, and stole the money that he found in Hogans’ pocket. Watts detained him and took him inside the building. Shortly thereafter, on two different occasions, Watts produced drugs and demanded more money or information; Hogans gave neither, and Watts framed him for drug crimes. Summers and Ridgell are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 158. [Exoneration Project]

 

(44) Dwayne Holmes, 06CR28094(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 58) Dwayne Holmes is the brother of David Holmes, whose Watts conviction in Case No. 07CR12171(01) previously was vacated. Both brothers have alleged they cooperated with CPD and the FBI on the criminal investigation into Watts. Ex. 72. As to Dwayne, six months after he served time on the case Watts framed him, an officer he knew as “Danny Boy” approached him, confirmed that Watts framed him, solicited him to “do some work for them,” and then had him meet with a federal agent to act as a drug seller in a monitored call. In an oral telephone statement immediately tendered to the State’s Attorney Office, Officer Daniel Echeverria corroborated Dwayne’s statement in this regard. As to Dwayne’s actual criminal conviction, on November 25, 2006, Dwayne was in an Ida B. Wells building visiting his brother David and another friend. He went to buy cigarettes from a store in the building when two officers detained and searched him for no reason. They let him go, and when Dwayne went to the lobby, other officers then detained him. Watts then had him arrested, shook him down for information about guns at the station, and framed him thereafter. Dwayne called his brother David from the station to tell him what happened and asserted his innocence. David has corroborated all of the information within his personal knowledge in a sworn statement. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Leano attested to the reports. Ex. 159. [Exoneration Project]

 

(45) Darnell Howard, 07CR2960(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 59) On January 12, 2007, Darnell Howard was in an Ida B. Wells apartment playing video games with friends when officers loudly banged on the door. Howard’s friend indicated she would not open the door without seeing a warrant, and the officers threatened her and pushed their way in. One of the officers then produced a bag of drugs and falsely claimed Howard threw them out a window. The officers offered to let Howard go if he gave information about the drug trade. Howard tried to plead with Watts to just take his money and let him go, but Watts told him it was not enough money. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Smith attested to the reports. Watts himself is described as on scene during the arrest in the vice case report. Ex. 160. [Exoneration Project]

 

(46) Torrence Ivory, 04CR20526(01) & 06CR4365(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 59) Torrence Ivory was framed twice. On July 27, 2004, Torrence Ivory was visiting with friends, including Gregory Haynes, outside at Ida B. Wells when Watts and other officers detained them and brought them to the lobby for no reason. Watts demanded information from Ivory about drugs, and when Ivory told him he knew nothing and was just visiting, Watts arrested him. At the station, Watts pulled out a bag of drugs from a desk and framed Ivory. Ivory was arrested on the same date as Vondell Wilbourn, who was exonerated for his arrest. Gregory Haynes corroborated his personal knowledge of Ivory’s false arrest in a sworn statement. This is Case No. 04CR20526(01). As to Case No. 06CR4365(02), on January 28, 2006, Watts and his team detained many people who were just hanging out in the lobby or the front of 559 E. Browning, including Gregory Haynes, Tyrone Fenton, and Torrence Ivory. (Haynes and Fenton are also Petitioners in this case.) Watts and his team let everyone go except those three men, who were framed for a drug crime. Fenton and Ivory corroborate these allegations in sworn statements. Jones and Mohammed are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Leano attested to the reports. Ex. 161. [Exoneration Project]

 

(47) Donald Johnson, 05CR14857(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 60) On June 3, 2005, Donald Johnson had just left an Ida B. Wells apartment when Watts and his team detained him, demanded information about drugs, cursed at him, and threatened him. An officer then falsely claimed they found drugs on Johnson, and when Johnson protested, the officer hit him in the mouth. Leano and Nichols are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 162. [Exoneration Project]

 

(48) Sherman Johnson, 04CR1102(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 60) On December 6, 2003, Sherman Johnson was in a friend’s apartment playing cards. Watts and Mohammed forced their way into the apartment and demanded to know where the drugs were. Watts then falsely claimed that they saw someone run into the apartment, so they needed to search it and all of the people there. Watts took their money. They found no drugs but Watts told Johnson and the others if they wanted to stay out of jail, they needed to pay him in guns or money. When Johnson couldn’t provide anything, the officers beat and framed him. Mohammed and Edwards are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 163. [Exoneration Project]

 

(49) George Key, 04CR04895(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 61) On January 24, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested George Key while he was entering 574 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Bolton, Edwards, Gonzalez, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, Rodriguez, Spaargaren, Summers, and Young. Young is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Jones is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Key buying drugs and that they found drugs on his person. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Key pleaded guilty to the false charge on March 9, 2004 and received a sentence of 30 Days. Mr. Key avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on June 11, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Two of Mr. Key’s co-defendants, Thomas Nash and Nathaniel Brownridge, also submitted statements attesting to their innocence,. Mr. Nash is a petitioner. Mr. Brownridge passed away while the CCSAO was reviewing his case. Ex. 164. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(50) Marie Leaks, 07CR7373(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 61) On February 28, 2007, Marie Leaks was with friends in an apartment on the seventh floor at Ida B. Wells when there was banging on the door. They opened the door and Watts and other officers came in and shook down Leaks for information about drugs. After Leaks provided no information, Watts framed her. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Jones attested to the reports. Ex. 165. [Exoneration Project]

 

(51) Sherman Lewis, 05CR14220(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 61) On May 7, 2005, Sherman Lewis was at his girlfriend Katina Lee’s apartment when Lee’s brother Johnny Lee came over. Mr. Lewis and Johnny did not get along. Mr. Lewis also knew that Johnny provided information for Watts, who gave Johnny drugs in exchange for information. When Johnny arrived, Mr. Lewis left for a while. Shortly after Mr. Lewis returned, Watts and other officers came to the apartment, detained him for no reason, threatened him and Katina, and started questioning Mr. Lewis about drugs. Eventually, Watts and his team searched the home and found no drugs, but Watts stole Lewis’ money and arrested him. Katina Lee has sworn a corroborating affidavit and also filed a contemporaneous complaint about the arrest (CR#305648), which, according to the report, her mother insisted she not pursue (likely because Watts and his team retaliated against those who tried to expose him). Smith is the first reporting officer and Watts himself is listed on the scene of arrest. Ex. 166. [Exoneration Project]

 

(52) Russ Lipscomb, 05CR14220(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 62) On May 12, 2005, Russ Lipscomb was riding his bike when Watts’ team detained and searched him. Watts showed up, ordered the officers to hold him, and then came back and planted drugs on Lipscomb. Bolton and Gonzalez are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Gonzalez attested to the reports. Lipscomb’s arrest report lists the time of his arrest as 2:10 p.m. on that day. Meanwhile, just two hours later at 4:15 p.m., a man named Jesse Lockett was arrested by the same team of officers, including Watts himself, who is listed as the second reporting officers which leaves no doubt Watts was in the field that day. Both Bolton and Gonzalez are similarly listed as assisting in Lockett’s arrest. Ex. 167. Lockett’s subsequent conviction has been vacated and he was certified innocent. [Exoneration Project]

 

(53) Lonnell Madison, 03CR08048(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 62) On March 8, 2003, Lonnell Madison was leaving an apartment in the Ida B. Wells complex when he saw Watts detaining another man. Despite having no drugs and not doing anything illegal, Madison ran, as Watts had previously threatened to lock him up. Madison was chased, caught, and arrested. At the station, Watts showed him drugs and framed him. Summers and Ridgell are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 168. [Exoneration Project]

 

(54) Darnell Martin, 03CR22756(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 63) On September 15, 2003, Darnell Martin was in the lobby of an Ida B. Wells building when Watts and his team entered. He had no drugs and was doing nothing illegal. For no reason at all, the officers detained and searched him, and then let him go. However, later that day, Watts detained him again when he saw him. Watts demanded information about someone in a blue hoodie, and when Martin told him he had no idea what he was talking about and reminded him he was searched earlier, Watts responded by arresting and framing him anyway. Martin was put in a police car, and while he was there, Watts approached him again with his brother, Willie Martin, in custody. Watts said that if Willie could provide him drugs or guns, Watts would let Darnell go. When at the station, Watts approached Darnell and told him that his brother “can’t help you” and fabricated a drug arrest. Gonzalez and Bolton are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Darnell’s brother Willie corroborates the allegation in a sworn affidavit. Moreover, Willie Martin was previously certified innocent in a different Watts conviction in Case No. No. 06 CR 23620 based on the same sworn affidavit. Ex. 169. [Exoneration Project]

 

(55) Anthony Mays, 02CR29710(01) & 04CR25337(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 63) Anthony Mays has already been certified innocent a Watts conviction in Case No. 06CR12963(01). He was framed two times before that as well. On November 2, 2002, Mays was at Ida B. Wells helping his sister move when Mohammed detained him and brought him downstairs to Watts. The officers then arrested a whole bunch of individuals for trespassing. When Mays protested that he had identification to prove he lived there, Watts’ team responded by shaking him down and planting drugs on him. Cadman and Bolton are first and second reporting officers, respectively. This is Case No. 02CR29710(01). Nearly two years later in September 2004, Mays got in a physical altercation with Alvin Jones. Mays ended up hitting Jones and running away. Soon thereafter, Mays was just hanging out at Ida B. Wells when one of Watts’ crew detained him. The officer took Mays to a different building where Watts, Jones and other officers were waiting. Jones saw him, said “I got your ass now,” and framed him. Edwards and Mohammed are first and second reporting officers, respectively. This is Case No. 04CR25337(01). Ex. 170. [Exoneration Project]

 

(56) Elgen Moore, 05CR02185(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 64) For all intents and purposes, Elgen Moore is the co-defendant of Bryant Patrick in Case No. 05CR01587(01). It is unclear why they were charged under different cases numbers, as they were arrested at the same time on the same date in the same location for the same event. Patrick’s conviction on that matter has been dismissed, and he has been certified innocent. On December 16, 2004, Elgen Moore was with Patrick in an apartment at the 527 Building of Ida B. Wells. The police knocked on the door and Patrick’s girlfriend, Lakiya Gresham, would not let them in. Eventually, Watts and other members of his team broke down the door. Watts and his team detained Moore, Patrick, and Gresham and searched the apartment. There was no cocaine. Nevertheless, the officers arrested Moore and Patrick and brought them to lobby. They then framed Moore for a drug crime. Watts himself is listed on reports as on the scene. Moore knew Watts from a previous encounter early in 2004 when Watts falsely arrested and framed Ben Baker—the first time Baker was framed by Watts in what is referred to as the “mailbox case.” Included within the exhibits in support of Moore’s case is Baker’s testimony from his trial for his March 2005 arrest where he specifically mentions Moore’s presence during the fabricated 2004 “mailbox case” arrest. Without counsel, Moore spoke to COPA about its Watts investigation—his recorded statement corroborates his affidavit, as do sworn statements from Patrick and Gresham. Officers Gonzalez and Bolton are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 171. [Exoneration Project]

 

(57) Jermaine Morris, 04CR23054(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 65) Jermaine Morris has been certified innocent twice on Watts-related convictions: Case Nos. 05CR02186(01) and 06CR8697(02). Morris was framed on another case before those two as well. On August 31, 2004 at Ida B. Wells, Watts and his team of officers illegally detained and searched Morris, who was just standing around in the lobby of the building doing nothing illegal. At gunpoint, the officers ordered Morris and others against the wall. Watts then shook Morris down for information or money, and when Morris had none, Watts framed him. Gonzalez is the first reporting officer. Ex. 172. [Exoneration Project]

 

(58) Thomas Nash, 04CR04895(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 65) On January 24, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested Thomas Nash while he was in his apartment at 559 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Bolton, Edwards, Gonzalez, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, Rodriguez, Spaargaren, Summers, and Young. Young is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Jones is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Nash conduct four hand to hand drug transactions in the lobby of 574 E. Browning then chased him up the stairs before arresting him. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Nash pleaded guilty to the false charge on February 17, 2004 and was sentenced to boot camp. Mr. Nash avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on December 6, 2017 that the officers’ claims were false. Mr. Nash also submitted the sworn statement of his Aunt Yvette Johnson as corroboration. Two of Mr. Nash’s co-defendants, George Key and Nathaniel Brownridge, submitted statements attesting to their innocence. Mr. Key is a petitioner. Mr. Brownridge passed away while the CCSAO was reviewing his conviction. Ex. 173. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(59) Lolita Newell(AKA Lolita Sparks), 04CR18282(04)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 66) On June 28, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested Lolita Newell while she was leaving an apartment at 527 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Edwards, Gonzalez, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, Rodriguez, Summers, and Young. Gonzalez is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Bolton is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they observed drug transactions involving Ms. Newell’s co-defendants, Richard Scales (AKA Kenneth Jones), D’Andra Woods, and Victor Cline in front of a building at the Wells Homes. The officers also falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Scales hand a bag of drugs to Ms. Newell. Newell was charged under the name Lolita Sparks. Ms. Newell sought to prove her innocence at trial, but she was found guilty of the false charge on August 11, 2004 and received a sentence of 2 Years. Ms. Newell avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on May 1, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Notably, the arrest reports in Ms. Newell’s case were prepared by the same officers and list the exact same Occurrence Date and Time as the reports in the now-vacated conviction of Jamar Lewis in Case Number 04CR17855. Ms. Newell’s co-defendants, Richard Scales (AKA Kenneth Jones) and D’Andra Woods have submitted sworn statements of their innocence and are also petitioners. The fourth co-defendant, Victor Cline, is deceased. Ex. 174. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(60) Keith Owens, 07CR16168(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 66) Keith Owens is the son of Gregory Young, who is also a Petitioner in this matter. Owens was present in 2003 when his father was framed by Watts. In this instance four years later, on July 11, 2007, Owens was hanging outside an Ida B. Wells complex when Watts and his team stormed the area. Everyone started running, but Owens did not, as he was not doing anything illegal. He had no drugs on him. Members of Watts’ team detained him anyway and tried to shake him down for information. Watts and his team then started demanding Owens’ brother get them a gun, and when he said he couldn’t, they arrested Owens. Nichols and Leano are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 175. [Exoneration Project]

 

(61) Ron Owens, 03CR16833(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 67) Prior to July 2003, Watts had been harassing and shaking down Ron Owens for money. Owens never had money, and Watts threatened to frame him the next time he saw him if Owens didn’t pay. Then, on July 1, 2003, Watts kept his promise, detaining Ron Owens for no reason in an Ida B. Wells building and framing him for a drug crime when Owens again had no money or information to give him. Jones and Young are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 176. [Exoneration Project]

 

(62) Cordero Payne, 04CR15509(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 67) Cordero Payne has already been certified innocent a Watts conviction in Case No. 05CR28782(01). He was framed before that as well. On June 8, 2004, 17-year-old Payne was leaving the back entrance of an Ida. B. Wells building when one of Watts’ officers grabbed him and brought him back in the building. Payne was detained with others. Watts and his team then shook down Payne for information, and when Payne had none, Watts falsely arrested him and fabricated a drug charge. Jones and Ridgell are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 177. [Exoneration Project]

 

(63) Jarvis Perkins, 07CR22389(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 67) On September 23, 2007, Jarvis Perkins was with his girlfriend, Rekeyia Macon, when Watts and his team of officers pulled up to Ida B. Wells. Perkins ran because he believed he had missed a traffic court date and thought there might be a warrant. One of Watts team of officers, however, caught him. They then detained him for some time and falsely stated that Perkins threw drugs on the roof of the building. Watts and his team even called the fire department, who came and brought their truck. Mohammed went on the roof and didn’t find anything. Watts and Mohammed nevertheless planted drugs on Perkins. Perkins fought the case at a trial but was convicted. Nichols and Gonzalez testified at the trial that Perkins’ co-defendant, Arthur Fearn, yelled “rocks, rocks” when Perkins ran and threw drugs on the roof. Nichols and Gonzalez also falsely claimed that they recovered drugs on the roof. Both Macon and Fearn have given sworn statements corroborating Perkins’ allegations in their entirety. Further, Gonzalez and Nichols’ testimony conflicts with each other; for example, Gonzalez denied being with Nichols when prior to Nichols giving chase to Perkins. Ex. 178. [Exoneration Project]

 

(64) James Randolph, 03CR17648 and 06CR27312

  • Exhibits
  • (p 68) On July 19, 2003, members of the Watts team arrested James Randolph while he was near S. Evans and E. 45th St., in the vicinity of the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Cadman, Bolton, Edwards, Gonzalez, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, Spaargaren, Summers, and Young. Summers is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Jones is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Randolph exchange drugs for money six times, and that each time they observed him retrieving a bag of drugs from a plastic bag under a nearby porch. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Randolph pleaded guilty to the false charge on August 28, 2003 and received a sentence of 6 years. On November 14, 2006, members of the Watts team arrested Randolph while he was outside 527 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Gonzalez, and Leano. Bolton is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, Gonzalez is the second arresting officer, and Leano is listed as attesting. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Randolph reach into his waistband and drop a bag of drugs on the ground. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Randolph pleaded guilty to the false charge on December 27, 2006 and received a sentence of 3 years. Mr. Randolph avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on December 12, 2019 that the officers’ claims in both cases were false. Ex. 179. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(65) Willie Robinson, 05CR22617(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 69) On August 31, 2005, Willie Robinson was simply walking to the store when Watts and members of his team detained him for no reason. Robinson had no drugs on him. Watts shook Robinson down, and when Robinson did not provide him any information, Watts planted drugs on him. Without counsel, Robinson spoke to COPA about its Watts investigation—his recorded statement corroborates his affidavit. Smith and Jones are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Jones attested to the reports.[1] Ex. 180. [Exoneration Project][1] The materials attached in support of Willie Robinson’s allegations document another incident, four months later on December 11, 2005, that did not result in Robinson’s wrongful conviction, as his motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence was granted and charges were dismissed. The information is relevant, however, because it demonstrates yet another example where Jones (and Smith) falsely testified to being in two different places at the exact same time—in this instance, claiming they were arresting Robinson at 12:08 p.m. on December 11, 2005 while also supposedly arresting Ben Baker and Clarissa Glenn at 12:11 p.m. in a total different area for a totally different event. Robinson, Baker, Glenn and others have sworn under oath that the claims of Jones and Smith in both instances are lies. See also infra ¶ 55 (documenting another instance where Jones testified to being in multiple different places at once).

 

(66) Leonard Saunders, 04CR11850(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 69) On April 13, 2004, Watts and his officers detained Leonard Saunders while he was outside Ida B. Wells. Watts shook him down and when Saunders didn’t pay him, Watts planted drugs on him. Ridgell and Summers are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 181. [Exoneration Project]

 

(67) Richard Scales (AKA Kenneth Jones), 04CR18282(03)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 69) On June 28, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested Richard Scales while he was on the first floor of 527 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Edwards, Gonzalez, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, Rodriguez, Summers, and Young. Gonzalez is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Bolton is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Scales engage in drug transactions and that he had drugs in his possession when they arrested him. Mr. Scales was charged under the name Kenneth Jones. He sought to prove his innocence at trial, but he was found guilty on January 10, 2005 and received a sentence of 3 Years. Mr. Scales avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on November 26, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Notably, the arrest reports in Mr. Scales’s case were prepared by the same officers and list the exact same Occurrence Date and Time as the reports in the now-vacated conviction of Jamar Lewis in Case Number 04CR17855. Mr. Scales’s co-defendants, Lolita Newell (AKA Lolita Sparks) and D’Andra Woods have submitted sworn statements of their innocence and are also petitioners. The fourth co-defendant, Victor Cline, is deceased. Ex. 182. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(68) Rasaan Shannon, 04CR17856(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 70) Rasaan Shannon is the co-defendant of Derrick Lewis. Lewis’ conviction on this matter has been dismissed and he has been certified innocent. Ex. 77. On July 3, 2004, Watts and other officers illegally detained Rasaan and others—including Derrick Lewis and Akira Reynolds—at Ida B. Wells. Watts demanded information about drugs. While being detained, Shannon’s brother, Rashad, approached and Watts arrested him, too. At the station, Watts put a bunch of drugs onto a table and again demanded information. Eventually, Watts let several people go, including Reynolds and Rashad Shannon. Watts, however, falsely arrested Rasaan. Both Akira Reynolds and Rashad Shannon—in addition to Lewis—have given sworn statements corroborating this account. Officers Summers and Ridgell are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 183. [Exoneration Project]

 

(69) Stephen Shelton, 07CR15206(02)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 71) Stephen Shelton is Tyree Smith’s uncle, and Smith is also a Petitioner in this case. On July 3, 2007, Shelton and Smith went together to visit Tyree’s baby son at 575 E. Browning, Apt. 701. Shelton and Smith both lived in a different building at Ida B. Wells, but Tyree’s baby lived with his mother, Lamara Brownridge, in Apt. 701 of that building. While they were at the apartment, there were a number of other people in the back they didn’t really know. Eventually, there was a knock on the door. Tyree opened the door while holding his baby and a bunch of officers from Watts team came in. They cuffed both men for no reason and detained them downstairs, where they were holding many others. The officers then arrested them and fabricated drugs charges. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Smith attested to the reports. Brownridge corroborates the allegations in a sworn statement. Ex. 184. [Exoneration Project]

 

(70) Oliver Sims, 02CR30734(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 71) On October 5, 2002, Oliver Sims was visiting friends at Ida B. Wells when Watts and his team of officers detained him for no reason. Watts arrested him and shook Sims down money or information about guns. When Sims did not bribe him, Watts fabricated heroin charges. Jones and Young are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 185. [Exoneration Project]

 

(71) Tyree Smith, 07CR15206(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 71) Tyree Smith’s is Stephen Shelton’s nephew, and Shelton is also a Petitioner in this case. On July 3, 2007, Shelton and Smith went together to visit Tyree’s baby son at 575 E. Browning, Apt. 701. Shelton and Smith both lived in a different building at Ida B. Wells, but Tyree’s baby lived with his mother, Lamara Brownridge, in Apt. 701 of that building. While they were at the apartment, there were other people in the back they did not really know. Eventually, there was a knock on the door. Tyree opened the door while holding his baby and a bunch of officers from Watts team came in. They cuffed both men for no reason and detained them downstairs, where they were holding many others. The officers then arrested them and fabricated drugs charges. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Smith attested to the reports. Brownridge corroborates the allegations in a sworn statement. Ex. 186. [Exoneration Project]

 

(72) Walter Thomas, 03CR19468(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 72) On August 13, 2003, Walter Thomas was detained near his grandmother’s house by Watts and his team. Watts and the officers put him in a car and took him to the onsite police station at Ida B. Wells. Eventually, Thomas was taken to jail and only there he learned he was being charged with a drug crime. Thomas never had any drugs on him. Jones and Summers are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 187. [Exoneration Project]

 

(73) Joseph Thompson, 02CR32070

  • Exhibits
  • (p 72) On November 26, 2002, members of the Watts team arrested Joseph Thompson while he was on the fifth floor of 527 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Cadman, Edwards, Jones, Summers, Mohammed, and Young. Jones is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Young is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Thompson holding a bag of drugs, placing the drugs in his pocket, and attempting to flee. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Thompson pleaded guilty to the false charge on January 8, 2003 and received a sentence of 37 days. Mr. Thompson avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on October 10, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 188. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(74) Christopher Turner, 03CR2323(01), 03CR16104(02), & 05CR3810(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 72) Christopher Turner has three convictions where he was framed by Watts and his team. The first occurred on December 29, 2002 at Ida B. Wells. Turner was simply hanging out in the building with no drugs and not doing anything illegal when a team of officers came into the building and detained him and others. Eventually, Watts arrested Turner and took him to the station. It was not until he got to the station that he learned he was being charged with a drug crime. Jones and Young are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. This is Case No. 03CR2323(01). Six months later, on June 24, 2003, Turner was in a fifth-floor apartment at a Wells building when Watts and his team entered. Again, Turner did not have any drugs and was not doing anything illegal. Turner and others (including Anthony Baker and Elgen Moore) were detained, and Watts at one point hit Baker with a broomstick. Eventually, Turner was taken to the station with Baker. At the station, Watts showed Turner drugs and shook him down. When Turner did not give him any information, Watts fabricated drug charges against him. Gonzalez is the first reporting officer. Baker’s sworn statement corroborates Turner’s allegations, including that Watts beat him with a broomstick. Moore, too, swore a statement corroborating these allegations. This is Case No. 03CR16104(02). On January 13, 2005, Turner was again at Ida B. Wells when Watts and other officers rushed into the building. Turner and others exchanged words with Watts and his team, and in response, Watts arrested him and took him to the station. Watts shook him down at the station and when Turner could not help, Watts fabricated a drug case. Young and Jones are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. This is Case No. 05CR03810(01). Ex. 189. [Exoneration Project]

 

(75) Bruce Walker, 04CR10324

  • Exhibits
  • (p 73) On March 11, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested Bruce Walker while he was outside of a building at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Gonzalez, Jones, and Rodriguez. Gonzalez is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Bolton is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Walker spit bags of drugs out of his mouth. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Walker pleaded guilty to the false charge on May 19, 2004 and received a sentence of probation. Mr. Walker avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on January 11, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 190. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(76) David Walker, 07CR23699

  • Exhibits
  • (p 74) On October 16, 2007, members of the Watts team arrested David Walker while he was talking with his friend at 40th and Vicennes, in the vicinity of the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Jones, Leano, Lewis, Mohammed, Nichols, and Smith. Jones is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Smith is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Walker drop a tin foil package of drugs and run from them. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Walker pleaded guilty to the false charge on November 28, 2007 and received a sentence of Cook County Boot Camp. Mr. Walker avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on July 1, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 191. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(77) Derek Walker, 04CR08696-02

  • Exhibits
  • (p 74) On March 10, 2004, members of the Watts team arrested Derek Walker while he was outside of a building at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Edwards, Gonzalez, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, Rodriguez, Summers, and Young. Jones is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Young is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Walker give a bag of drugs to another man and that Walker had drugs in his possession. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Walker pleaded guilty to the false charge on July 27, 2004 and received a sentence of 18 Months. Mr. Walker avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on November 28, 2018 that the officers’ claims were false. Mr. Walker also submitted a sworn statement of an eyewitness to the false arrest, Anthony Stroud, which corroborates Mr. Walker’s innocence. Ex. 192. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(78) Kimberly Watkins (Green), 05CR22627(01) & 07CR05172(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 75) Kimberly Watkins is now named Kimberly Green, which is her birth name. At the time of her false arrests, she was married to a man with the last name Watkins, but they are since divorced. She was framed twice. On August 30, 2005, Watkins was sitting in a van with her friend Barbara. Barbara is now deceased. As they were sitting there, Watts and several officers approached and detained them. They demanded information about drugs. One of the officers then falsely accused Watkins of attempting to swallow something and the officer started choking her. Eventually, they just arrested Watkins and falsely claimed that she tossed drugs into a van as they approached. They let Barbara go. Jones and Smith are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Smith attested to the reports. Jones testified at the preliminary hearing that he recovered three times more than what is listed on the vice case and inventory reports. This is Case No. 05CR22627(01). Then, on February 5, 2007, Watkins was at her friend Kay’s apartment. She does not know her last name. Watts and members of his team entered the apartment without any cause and began searching. They had no drugs on them or in the apartment. Watts then reached into his pocket, took out drugs, and claimed they were Watkins’ drugs. Bolton and Gonzalez are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Gonzalez attested to the reports. This is Case No 07CR05172(01). Ex. 193. [Exoneration Project]

 

(79) Antoine White, 03CR08640

  • Exhibits
  • (p 75) On March 17, 2003, members of the Watts team arrested Antoine White while he was visiting a friend on the second floor of 511 E. Browning at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Edwards, Jones, Mohammed, Ridgell, Summers, and Young. Ridgell is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Young is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. White on the sixth floor of a Wells building holding a bag of drugs, that Mr. White ran from them, and that they found drugs on Mr. White’s person. Even though he was innocent, Mr. White pleaded guilty to the false charge on May 1, 2003 and received a sentence of probation. Mr. White avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on April 10, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 194. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(80) Theodore (“Ed”) Wilkins, 03CR16831(01), 03CR26460(01), & 07CR13807(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 76) Theodore “Ed” Wilkins had several encounters with Watts and his crew, three of which resulted in fabricated drug cases. Before Wilkins was ever arrested by Watts, he was with Deon Willis when Willis was falsely arrested by Watts in Case. No. 02CR26618. (Willis has since been certified innocent on that case. Ex. 108) Wilkins was prepared to testify for Willis at his upcoming motion to suppress hearing when Watts instead framed Wilkins on June 23, 2003. On that day, Wilkins was with Akira Reynolds when Watts and his team approached him, learned his name, and then said something to the effect of “you think you gonna go to court on us.” They let Reynolds go but fabricated a case against Wilkins. Reynolds corroborates the allegation. Edwards and Mohammed are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. This is Case No. 03CR16831(01). Months later, while on bond on October 25, 2003, Wilkins was exiting a friend’s apartment when Wilkins observed a number of people detained by Watts and his team. Watts saw Wilkins and detained and planted evidence on him again, specifically mentioning the prior arrest. Summers and Ridgell are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. This is Case No. 03CR26460(01). Then, in the Spring of 2007, Wilkins ran into Watts again when visiting his nephew in Ida B. Wells. Watts detained him and found marijuana but let Wilkins go, noting that Wilkins “owed him one.” Wilkins understood this to mean that he needed to bribe Watts. Then, on May 29, 2007, Wilkins ran into Watts yet again. At that point, Watts ordered his crew to lock him up and fabricate a drug charge, seemingly because Wilkins had not followed up on the Watts’ extortion demand. Nichols and Leano are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Nichols attested to the reports. This is Case No. 07CR13807(01). Ex. 195. [Exoneration Project]

 

(81) John Williams,  07CR11532

  • Exhibits
  • (p 77) On April 30, 2007, members of the Watts team arrested John Williams while he was on the second floor of a building at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Jones, Leano, Lewis, Mohammed, and Nichols. Leano is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Nichols is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Williams placing a bag of drugs into his right shoe. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Williams pleaded guilty to the false charge on June 19, 2007 and received a sentence of 3 Years. Mr. Williams avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on February 18, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 196. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(82) Leroy Williams, 07CR24557(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 77) Leroy Williams was visiting friends at Ida B. Wells when Watts and his crew approached. Several people ran away. Williams, however, was not doing anything illegal and he had not had any prior interactions with Watts, so he stayed where he was. Watts repeatedly demanded that Williams tell him where the people ran. When Williams told him he had no idea, Watts framed Williams by planting drugs on him. Leano and Nichols are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Leano attested to the reports. Ex. 197. [Exoneration Project]

 

(83) Dexter Willis, 04CR00939(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 77) On December 11, 2003, at Ida B. Wells, Dexter Willis was waiting for an elevator when a Watts team officer approached him asked him if that was him running. Willis told him he was just leaving his girlfriend’s apartment and was not doing anything. He had no drugs on him. Nevertheless, Willis was detained and taken to the lobby. There, an officer he believes was Mohammed approached him with drugs in his hand and falsely accused him of dropping the drugs. Mohammed then demanded information about drugs in the building, and when Willis couldn’t give him any information, arrested Willis. Summers and Ridgell are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 198. [Exoneration Project]

 

(84) D’Andra Woods, 04CR18282(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 78) On June 28, 2004, D’Andra Woods was leaving the 527 building at Ida B. Wells when he was illegally detained by members of the Watts team. Woods had no drugs on him and was not doing anything illegal, but Mohammed nevertheless put him against the police car and detained him. Eventually, the officers took Woods to the station and fabricated drug charges against him. Without counsel, Woods spoke to COPA about its Watts investigation, including the arrest of Jamar Lewis by Watts Team officers on the same date in the same building in Case No. 04CR17855. Woods statement to COPA is consistent with his sworn statement. For his part, Lewis’ conviction was vacated and he was certified innocent. Ex. 32. Further, Woods was charged with two codefendants, Lolita Newell and Richard Scales aka Kenneth Jones, both of whom were convicted at a bench trial. Both also have sworn statements that corroborate Woods and are petitioners in this case. Gonzalez and Bolton are the first and second reporting officers, respectively, on Woods’ arrest. Ex. 199. [Exoneration Project]

 

(85) Anthony Wright, Sr., 07CR03947

  • Exhibits
  • (p 78) On January 22, 2007, members of the Watts team arrested Anthony Wright while he was walking from a store on King Drive near Pershing back to his home at 651 E. 37th Place at the Ida B. Wells Homes. Police reports confirm the involvement of Watts, Bolton, Gonzalez, Leano, and Nichols. Leano is the first arresting officers on the arrest report, and Nichols is the second arresting officer. The officers falsely claimed that they saw Mr. Wright drop a green breath mint can containing drugs, and that they found drugs in his right shoe. Even though he was innocent, Mr. Wright pleaded guilty to the false charge on February 13, 2007 and received a sentence of 2 years. Mr. Wright avers in a sworn statement submitted to the State’s Attorney on July 29, 2019 that the officers’ claims were false. Ex. 200. [Law Offices of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C.]

 

(86) Anthony Wright, Jr., 04CR19502(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 79) Anthony Wright, Jr. was convicted after a bench trial based on fabricated charges and perjury by Watts and his team. On July 10, 2004, Anthony Wright, Jr. was at his Dad’s house when Watts, Mohammed, Jones and other officers barged into his house and started questioning Wright, Jr. When Wright Jr. had no information, two of the officers left while the remaining searched the apartment, finding nothing illegal. The two Watts team officers then returned in possession of a bunch of drugs, which Watts and his team then planted on Wright, Jr. and fabricated police reports and charges. Wright Jr. insisted on his innocence and fighting the case. At the bench trial, Officers Mohammed and Ridgell testified and committed perjury by claiming that they witnessed Wright Jr. drop drugs while being chased by Officer Jones. This was consistent with their reports, which list Ridgell and Mohammed as the first and second reporting officers, respectively, and Ridgell as the attesting officer. Watts is also listed as a witness on the reports. Ex. 203 [Exoneration Project]

 

(87) Joseph Wright, 05CR053525(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 79) On February 3, 2005, Watts, Jones, and other members of Watts’ team came to Joseph Wright’s door at Ida B. Wells. Wright let them in, and Watts immediately produced drugs from his pocket. They arrested Wright. On the way to the station, Watts shook down Wright, telling him that he could “bond out from the backseat” in exchange for drugs, money, or information. Wright provided none of the above, so Watts fabricated a case against him. Young and Jones are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 201. [Exoneration Project]

 

(88) Gregory Young, 03CR07701(01)

  • Exhibits
  • (p 80) Gregory Young has had many interactions with Watts and his team. During these interactions, Watts would shake him down and arrest him for minor charges like trespassing and release him, even though Young lived with his wife in the building. On March 2, 2003, however, as Young was entering the 527 building, he passed some members of Watts’ team. Young then entered his first-floor apartment and was with many of his family members and others, including his sons Greg and Keith Owens, and Latoya Lewis. Soon thereafter, Watts banged aggressively on the door. When Young let him in, Watts and his team detained him. Young had no drugs in his possession and there was none in the apartment. However, Watts eventually produced drugs, falsely claimed it was Young’s, and arrested Young and his son Greg. At the station, Young pleaded with Watts to let his son go and that Young would take the blame, and Watts agreed. Young’s rap sheet confirms the many interactions he had with Watts’ team. Both Keith Owens and Lewis have sworn statements corroborating these allegations, and Gregory Haynes, who witnessed a portion of the arrest, also corroborates the allegation. Further, prior to retaining undersigned counsel, Young gave a recorded statement to COPA. This statement is largely consistent with this affidavit, with the exception that, through leading questions of COPA, Young erroneously indicates this arrest happened in 2006. This incident, however, occurred on March 2, 2003. As his rap sheet reflects, Young had other interactions with Watts team in 2006. Edwards and Jones are the first and second reporting officers, respectively. Ex. 202. [Exoneration Project]