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Dozens who say they were framed by corrupt Chicago drug squad demand exoneration

NBC News
the Chicago Police Department
Civilian Office of Police Accountability
The Chicago Police Department
John Marshall Harlan Community Academy High School
Cook County Circuit Court
the Cook County Jail
the Exoneration Project

Rasaan Shannon
Ronald Watts
Kallatt Mohammed
Joshua Tepfer
Joel Flaxman
Derrick Lewis

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South Side

the Ida B. Wells Homes

the Cook County State’s
a Cook County State’s

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The New York Times
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SectionsTVFeaturedMore from NBC Follow NBC News Seventeen years later, Rasaan Shannon still feels the bolt of fear that hit him when his court-appointed lawyer told him he faced up to three decades in prison for a drug charge he says was orchestrated by a corrupt Chicago police officer.He also remembers the relief he felt after being offered a plea deal that would land him in a boot camp for young offenders for four months. In 2012, Watts and another officer were arrested and later pleaded guilty to federal theft of public funds charges, accused of extorting residents and drug dealers in the housing project.Now Shannon is still fighting to be heard, along with dozens of others who say they were framed by Watts and his team in one of Chicago’s biggest police corruption scandals.Since Watts and a former partner, Kallatt Mohammed, went to prison in 2013, prosecutors at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office have agreed to the exonerations of 87 people wrongfully arrested by the drug squad. The lawyers said the state’s attorney’s office has told a judge that the office is continuing to review the claims.“It’s very unsatisfying to us and our clients, some of whom have been waiting for years for the state’s attorney’s office to finish its review,” Flaxman said.Tepfer said the delay on cases that are so similar to those already dismissed “shows that the review is really flawed. We don’t know.”The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement that it is continuing to review claims tied to Watts but would not comment on specific cases.The Chicago Police Department did not respond to a request for comment last week. His arrest with Shannon was one of two instances in which he said he was framed by Watts and other officers and was sentenced to prison.

As said here by Jon Schuppe