CHICAGO (AP) - Eight men who claim they were framed with bogus drug cases by a disgraced former Chicago police sergeant have filed federal lawsuits against the city and its police department.
The lawsuits were filed Thursday in U.S. District Court against several police officers in addition to Sgt. Ronald Watts. They describe how between 2004 and 2007 Watts and his team allegedly approached the victims and demanded cash, drugs or guns, and threatened anyone who did not comply.
The Cook County state's attorney office has dropped cases against more than 60 defendants who were convicted based on arrests tainted by the involvement of Watts' team. Court records show 48 other people have sued Watts and the department since 2016. None have gone to trial.
Watts was sentenced to 22 months in prison in 2013 after pleading guilty to stealing money from an FBI informant.