Charles Johnson, Larod Styles, LaShawn Ezell and Troshawn McCoy (known as the Marquette Park Four) were teenagers when they were arrested in 1995 for a double murder and robbery, even though no evidence tied them to the crime.
Johnson and his co-defendants were coerced and framed by CPD officers, including James Cassidy and Kenneth Boudreau (the same officers involved in the Swift case), who repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of Chicago youth, by coercing confessions, fabricating evidence and obtaining wrongful convictions.
While detained, they were subjected to hours of isolation and manipulation, denied access to counsel or family members, fed information about the crime and repeatedly threatened that if they did not repeat fabricated incriminating statements they would face terrible consequences – from never again seeing their families to the death penalty.
Twenty years later, fingerprint evidence exonerated them. The Cook County State’s Attorney dismissed the charges and they each received a Certificate of Innocence. The MacArthur Justice Center is representing Charles Johnson, who spent more than 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. All four are suing the City of Chicago as well as the Chicago Police Officers and the Assistant State’s Attorney responsible for their false imprisonment.
These actions were not an aberration – it was behavior that encouraged, supported and concealed by the Chicago Police Department for years.