Judge Vacates 8 More Convictions Linked To Ex-Chicago Cop

CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County judge on Monday threw out convictions for eight more people whose cases were linked to a notorious former Chicago police sergeant who regularly framed people for drug crimes they didn’t commit.

Judge Erica Reddick vacated the convictions and sentences of the men in response to motions filed jointly by their attorneys and the Cook County State’s Attorney Office.

The action followed the dismissal of 44 convictions in April and brought to 237 the number of vacated convictions in recent years linked to former Sgt. Ronald Watts and his tactical unit, State's Attorney Kim Foxx said.

Watts, a Black sergeant, led a team that for nearly a decade until 2012 planted drugs or falsely accused residents of a public housing complex, and others who were visiting or simply happened to be in the area.

Watts and another officer pleaded guilty in 2013 to stealing money from an FBI informant. Watts received a 22-month prison sentence.

“Vacating these convictions provides just a fraction of relief for those who spent time in prison, away from their families, and we will never be able to give them that time back," Foxx said. “We will continue to review these cases as we seek justice for all his victims.”