Chicago police testified there was no surveillance camera in the alley where they arrested Jermaine Walker — but there was.
A Chicago man, who spent 10 years in jail on drug charges, has been set free after an investigation proved that police officers and a state’s attorney investigator lied under oath to get him convicted.
Jermaine Walker was released from prison in late March after his lawyer found proof that there was a surveillance camera in the alley during his 2006 altercation with three Chicago police officers, a fact that contradicts testimonies from the officers and state’s attorney investigator.
According to court records, Eric Reyes and Sebastian Flatley, two of the Chicago police officers, who apprehended Walker, testified that there was no security camera in the alley, where the arrest took place. Their testimony was supported by a Cook County State’s Attorney’s office investigator Thomas Finnelly, who took photos of the scene and told the court that he visited the alley twice and never saw a security camera on the Lawrence Houses.
On June 2, 2006, a jury found Walker guilty. He was sentenced to 10 to 22 years in prison for dealing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.
However, attorney Ingrid Gill and the Cook County Public Defender’s Office proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the camera Walker claimed was in the alley did in fact exist.
Walker’s sentence was vacated on March 25 by Judge Catherine Haberkorn, who rendered an apology to him before setting him free.
“A severe injustice was done here. I am so sorry that this has happened to you,” Haberkorn said adding that she was deeply disturbed by the apparent lies told by Reyes, Flatley, and Finnelly at trial.
Sadly, a Chicago Police Department spokesman confirmed that Reyes, Flatley, and White, the officers, who caused this severe miscarriage of justice, are still in the force with the department.
Walker’s attorney, Mark Roth called the case “a classic example of what is wrong with the criminal justice system.”
“He was in prison from age 29 to 39. At the time he was convicted, Mr. Walker was on a full scholarship to college. He had a promising future. He is extremely intelligent. He lost a career, getting married, having children — everything people do between those years in your 20s and 30s. Now, he can’t just pick up where he left off,” Roth said.
According to his attorney, after losing a great chunk of his life and perhaps all, what he had, Walker might be given just to $170,000 for the time he spent in prison.
This is how cops and their cohorts at state’s attorney’s offices across America fill state and federal prisons with innocent black men.
These officers and the investigator should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest of the law.
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