With No One Left to Testify Against Him–Inmate Says He Should Be Freed

Amidst a snowballing scandal in the Chicago Police Department, a man convicted on gun charges says he should now be freed, because even prosecutors say the officers who built the case against him cannot be trusted.

The case involves disgraced Sgt. Ronald Watts, and the tactical team he supervised in the former Ida B. Wells housing project. Watts and one of his officers went to jail amidst charges of shakedowns and frameups.

Two weeks ago, NBC 5 Investigates revealed that prosecutors had informed Chicago police that ten officers associated with the Watts corruption would no longer be called as witnesses “due to concerns about their credibility and alleged involvement in the misconduct of Sgt. Watts.” Three of those officers were the witnesses in McDaniels’ case.

“Specifically, McDaniels alleges that these officers planted a gun on him and lied about it,” attorney Joshua Tepfer wrote in a motion filed Friday. “These officers have a pattern and practice of framing citizens for crimes they did not commit.”

Added to his motion, Tepfer filed the names of 17 new individuals he said were likewise framed by Watts and his officers. At least 23 people have already been exonerated by courts after evidence was presented that their convictions could not be supported.

“There’s agreement, the state and I and everyone who looks at this agrees that these officers can’t be trusted,” Tepfer told NBC 5 Friday. “Law enforcement knew this was going on for a very long time!”

The McDaniels matter is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday.

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