A Cook County judge has dismissed eight convictions connected to former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts. For years, he has been accused of framing people at the former Bronzeville Ida B. Wells public housing complex.
On Monday, the prosecutors of Cook County moved to dissolve the most recent cases. This brings the total number of convictions that have been overturned to more than 200.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx explained in a statement:
“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. We will continue to review these cases as we seek justice for all his victims. I’m grateful for the attorneys in this office who continue to seek justice, restore trust, and address the historic inequities of Cook County’s criminal justice system.”
Watts resigned from his position before he pled guilty in 2012 to stealing from a homeless man who was posing as a drug dealer during an undercover FBI operation. He also admitted to extorting money from drug dealers. Watts was sentenced to 22 months in prison.
A judge dismissed 44 other convictions linked to Watts and his team in April. Watts and his officers have been accused of everything from falsifying police reports to planting drugs on suspects.
Prosecutors have stated Watts’ team followed his orders to make up charges in order to promote their own gun and drug agenda. So far this year, Foxx’s offices have dismissed a total of 106 cases.