Good cops try to solve crimes. Bad cops try to clear crimes, whether the accused is guilty or not. The conviction is what counts, not guilt or innocence.
In Chicago, the story of Reynaldo Guevara, accused of framing people for murder, has been percolating for years. Everyone involved in this long story of murders, arrests, and denials is either Latino or black.
As a white person, this is not the kind of world I want to live in nor do I want to see future generations of white people live in such a corrupt environment.
Excerpt from Buzzfeed
Here’s the easy story of Guevara: It’s the tale of one allegedly rogue cop accused by at least 51 people of framing them for murders from the 1980s through the early 2000s in the rough-and-tumble Humboldt Park section of Chicago. His alleged misdeeds led 48 men and one woman to be sentenced to a total of more than 2,300 years in prison. Three were acquitted. Five received life sentences. Three were sentenced to death but spared when in 2003 Gov. George Ryan, disturbed by a rash of wrongful convictions, commuted all death sentences to life or less. Two men died behind bars, including Daniel Peña, an illiterate man who testified Guevara beat him into signing a confession he couldn’t read.
These numbers could place Guevara’s alleged misconduct among the most egregious policing betrayals in modern history, alongside the Rampart scandal in Los Angeles in the 1990s, when more than 100 convictions were tossed based on police corruption; the crack-era sentences of the 1970s and ‘80s in Brooklyn, when dozens of defendants accused Detective Louis Scarcella of manufacturing evidence against them; and, closer to home, in Chicago, where during the ‘70s and ‘80s former Commander Jon Burge led a team of detectives to beat — and even electrocute — more than 100 men, most of them black, on the city’s South Side into confessions.
But the scope of Guevara’s alleged misdeeds tells only part of the story. Chicago’s police brass, its prosecutors, its judges, police oversight commissions, and even federal authorities had ample warnings about Guevara, numerous chances to make amends for the injustices he stands accused of committing and to stop him from perpetrating more. They didn’t.
When the Rampart scandal surfaced, the LAPD submitted to a federal consent decree and enacted a long series of reforms. In Brooklyn, the district attorney revamped the office’s Conviction Integrity Unit, boosting its budget and manpower to review the Scarcella cases.
Yet in Chicago, which has been called the “false conviction capital” of the United States, the police department stood behind Guevara, promoting him and sending him off to retirement. So did prosecutors, who built cases around the people he said were eyewitnesses despite unlikely scenarios in their accounts.
So did judges, who turned a deaf ear to people who swore in open court that Guevara had beaten them or coerced their confessions or testimony. So did high-ranking city, county, and federal officials, who for decades ignored mounting claims of misconduct, choosing instead to defend the honor of the law enforcement establishment.
In 2013, faced with a number of exonerations of Guevara defendants and the possibility of numerous civil lawsuits seeking large payouts, the city ordered an independent review of Guevara cases, and, in 2015, determined that four imprisoned men were more than likely innocent. Anita Alvarez, the state attorney for Cook County, whose office had the power to release the men from prison, initially declined to act on those findings. After Alvarez was ousted from office last March, her replacement, Kim Foxx, via a spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News it had launched its own review of Guevara’s cases. She declined to answer questions, instead issuing a statement that said because the review is ongoing, “it would be inappropriate for the office to provide any comments at this time.” Last month, she announced plans to revamp her office’s conviction integrity unit, a team of lawyers which is charged with reviewing questionable convictions.
The long article goes on to cover specific crimes investigated by Guevaro and protestations of innocence. You might want to stay out of Chicago if you can. The streets are mean and bloody and the cops and criminal justice system may be as corrupt as any in the third world. God help you if you’re falsely accused of a crime in the Windy City.