Thursday, February 6, 2014

Daniel Taylor: Courthouse News looks at the case of a man who claims he was an innocent teenager sent to prison for 20 years after Chicago police coerced him into confessing to a double homicide and claims that the police hid evidence backing his alibi - and asks "how bad can Chicago police get?" Reporter Jack Bouboushian.

POST: "How bad can Chicago police get," by reporter Jack Bouboushian, published by Courthouse News, on February 5, 2014.

GIST: An innocent teenager was sent to prison for 20 years after Chicago police coerced him into confessing to a double homicide - and hid evidence that the boy was in custody at the police station at the time of the murders, the exonerated man claims in court. Daniel Taylor sued Chicago, its police Officers Anthony Villardita, Thomas Johnson, Brian Killacky, Terry O'Connor, Rick Abreu, Robert Delaney, Sean Glinski and Michael Berti, and unidentified city employees in Federal Court.  "Daniel Taylor was convicted of a brutal double homicide that he did not commit. Arrested at age 17, plaintiff spent more than 20 years in prison before he was ultimately exonerated," the 28-page lawsuit begins.........  Taylor was arrested that day at 6:45 p.m. on a disorderly conduct charge and did not leave the station until 10 p.m., more than an hour after the murders. "Nonetheless, determined to close the murder cases, the defendant officers coerced false confessions from plaintiff and his co-defendants, and hid exculpatory evidence that would have conclusively proven plaintiff's innocence," according to the complaint.  Police allegedly interrogated Lewis Gardner, a boy with an IQ of 70, for 15 hours until he implicated himself, Taylor, and five other young men in the murders. "Once the defendant officers had Mr. Gardner's false confession, they proceeded systematically to arrest and coerce plaintiff, Akia Phillips, Paul Phillips, Joseph Brown, Deon Patrick and Rodney Matthews into making false confessions. Neither plaintiff nor any of the others had any involvement whatsoever in the murders. All were young and over half of them were teenagers," the complaint states. Taylor claims police beat the boys, threatened them with a gun, refused to let them go to the bathroom, and falsely promised they could go home if they confessed.  Taylor was convicted of a double homicide, and sentenced to life in prison. "Unfortunately, the misconduct that caused plaintiff's wrongful conviction was not an isolated incident. To the contrary, the Chicago Police Department, including officers working within the department 'area' where this investigation occurred, engaged in a pattern of unlawfully coercing confessions over a period of years, frequently preying on young African-American men in order to close unsolved cases through overzealous methods of interrogation. Likewise, the City of Chicago also has a pattern and practice of withholding exculpatory evidence in department 'street files' from the courts, prosecutors and defendants, just as was done here."

The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
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