While the city mourned the first police killing since 2011, those who have been falsely accused and tortured into making confessions continue to rock this city.
Last week Nevest Coleman, 48, sued Chicago, several officers and Cook County State’s Attorney’s officials for serving 23 years in prison for a wrongful conviction.
Coleman sued Detectives Kenneth Boudreau, Jack Halloran, and James O’Brien – who served under convicted cop torturer Jon Burge, according to Coleman’s attorneys Loevy & Loevy, one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms who have won millions in verdicts for wrongful convictions in Chicago.
These cops were part of the “Englewood Four” who got false confessions that resulted in costing Chicago taxpayers $31 million in December.
Coleman was working at the Chicago White Sox Comisky Park – it has since been renamed US Cellular Field – and had a 2-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son and no criminal record when he was falsely accused and convicted of a murder.
Coleman and his co-defendant Darryl Fulton were wrongfully convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of Antwinica Bridgeman in Englewood even though there was no physical evidence and recent DNA testing connected the semen on the victim’s clothes to a serial rapist whose identify is currently not known, Loevy stated in a press release.
His lawyers stated that the only evidence in the trial to convict Coleman was his forced confession by the detectives.
In another case Arturo Reyes – who was also wrongfully convicted but served 19 years in a maximum security prison – filed a federal lawsuit against former Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara and other cops. The cops forced false confessions by using physical violence, psychological abuse and days of excruciating interrogation, according to his lawyers Loevy & Loevy.
Reyes was falsely convicted of a 1988 child abduction and double murder. The Cook County Court determined Reyes conviction was false and his murder charge dismissed two months ago, with Judge James Obbish stating detective Guevara told “bald faced lies” while under oath in his testimony where he denied misconduct in Reyes’ case, Loevy stated in a press release.
Reyes lawsuit is also against other Chicago police officers and Cook County prosecutors who forced him to make a false confession.
“The suit charges that during a grueling 40-hour interrogation, Det. Guevara repeatedly hit Reyes and threatened him with the electric chair,” the press release stated.
The lawyers state that Det. Guevara and other cops who worked alongside him also got other people to give false testimony against Reyes.
Just like the Coleman case, even though there was a bloody murder scene with fingerprints and other evidence, none of it connected to Reyes, and DNA testing afterwards exonerated Reyes and also named an unidentified person at the crime scene.
According to Loevy, Reyes is one of 14 men who had their convictions thrown out that were based on forced confessions by Det. Guevara.
Guevara, who is retired but still lives in the city, continues to plead the Fifth Amendment to not state anything that could be used against him. Apparently he has learned from Burge’s mistake, who despite his reign of torture in the city getting convictions against African-American males by torturing them, was convicted not of police brutality but lying to the court. Burge served a 10-year sentence and is now retired and living in Florida.
Less than 30 percent of murders were solved in Chicago in 2016. So the police are under pressure to show their bosses that they are getting the bad guys. Except a number of these cops are lying to get convictions, and this is costing the tax payers a lot of money, while the city protects the cops who beat up and send innocent men to prison.