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Man Framed by Disgraced Cops Sues City “Crooked” Cops

Posted by Admin On September - 15 - 2016

“Crooked” cops Cost him a decade of his life

 

Press conference today, 1 P.M., at 311 N. Aberdeen St.

A news conference will be held today to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit by Ben Baker against the City of Chicago and 17 police officers for framing him and covering it up for the decade Baker sat in prison.

The press conference will be held at  1 P.M. today, Thursday, September 15 at the new offices of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 311 N. Aberdeen Street, 3rd Floor, Chicago.

The lawsuit alleges that a “code of silence” throughout the Chicago Police Department allowed disgraced former Police Sergeant Ronald Watts to run an extortion ring with impunity in the former Ida B. Wells housing project in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the city’s south side. Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed—who is also named in the lawsuit—were convicted of bribing a federal informant several years ago.

From 2004-2006, Mr. Baker was arrested three different times by members of Watts and his tactical team for alleged drug dealing.  In each instance, however, the drugs were planted by Watts and members of his crew—first in retaliation for Baker refusing to bribe Watts and then for Baker attempting to expose the corruption.  Baker testified to these facts at his 2006 trial but was not believed.  He was ultimately convicted twice and sentenced to terms totaling 18 years in prison.   

Earlier this year, both of Mr. Baker’s convictions were vacated. He received two Certificates of Innocence.

Recently released documents show that the FBI and Chicago Police Internal Affairs had Sgt. Watts and members of his tactical team under investigation for a systemic pattern of corruption while the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office was prosecuting Mr. Baker.  Mr. Baker alleges that if City officials had disclosed to him the information they knew about the pattern of misconduct, he would have used that information in his defense and not been convicted. 

Several of the officers named in the suit as taking part in the alleged corruption remain Chicago police officers today.

After Mr. Baker’s conviction, two CPD Officers, Shannon Spaulding and Daniel Echeverria blew the whistle on Watts’ tactical team and joined the ongoing FBI investigation. Instead of being rewarded for exposing police corruption, Spaulding and Echeverria alleged that top police brass retaliated against them. Earlier this year, the City settled a lawsuit with Spaulding and Echeverria on the eve of trial for $2 million.  

A copy of the suit, Ben Baker v. the City of Chicago, et al., #16-cv-8940, can be found here.

WHO:   Ben Baker, his family, supporters, and attorneys – Elizabeth Mazur, Joshua Tepfer and Russell Ainsworth of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law.

Mr. Baker is 44-years-old and his longtime partner are the parents of three grown children.

Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms, and over the past decade has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country. Last November, Loevy & Loevy successfully obtained the release of the dashcam video of Laquan McDonald’s shooting death at the hands of Chicago police.

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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