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Exonerated men ask court for certificates of innocence

January 10, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Fifteen Chicago men whose convictions were thrown out in November are asking for certificates of innocence.

The drug convictions were tossed following allegations a corrupt Chicago police sergeant manufactured evidence that sent them to prison.

The men claim former Sgt. Ronald Watts demanded money from them. When they didn’t pay, they were handcuffed and drugs stuffed in their pockets.

Watts was convicted in 2013 of extorting money from drug dealers.

Attorney Joshua Tepfer said Tuesday the certificates of innocence would wipe away the convictions of the exonerated men and open the way for the men to sue the city and police officers.

Watts and his tactical team worked the South Side for more than a decade.

At least 20 individuals have been exonerated by the courts due to Watts’ actions.

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