Falsely Jailed at Age 14, Man Sues Chicago Police After Losing 24 Years to Wrongful Imprisonment

Police Fabricated Evidence, Coerced a False Confession From
the 14-Year-Old, & Intimidated Witnesses to Frame the Youth

CHICAGO, April 12, 2018 – After spending his adolescence and almost entire adulthood wrongfully imprisoned, Adam Gray today filed a federal lawsuit against eight former Chicago police officers (or their estates), a former fire marshal and a former assistant state’s attorney. The defendants are accused of falsifying physical evidence, provoking false statements from witnesses, and a false confession from the 14-year-old Gray.

Despite his repeated pleas of innocence and his mom and brother’s requests to see him, the officers denied the young teenager access to them. Instead they browbeat him for several hours, finally prompting a false confession that led to his 24-year-long wrongful imprisonment.

14-year-old Adam Gray
14-year-old Adam Gray as he’s being booked by the CPD at the 51st & Wentworth station.
In May 2017 Gray’s conviction was vacated, his charges dismissed, and he was finally exonerated. Mr. Gray, 39, and his attorneys will speak at a 2 pm press conference today at the office of his attorneys, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 311 N. Aberdeen Street, 3rd floor, Chicago.

At the time of his arrest in March 1993, Gray had just passed his 14th birthday and lived with his family in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago. At about 3 am, March 25, 1993, a fire began that consumed a two-flat building about a block from Gray’s home, killing two elderly residents. There was no physical evidence linking Gray to the fire, which was most likely not an arson at all. All of the “witnesses” against Gray, including a 14-year-old girl, were either intimidated into fingering him or did so as a result of overly suggestive line-ups or questioning.

While defendants claimed there was physical evidence showing that the fire was spread by a gasoline and hence was arson, laboratory tests showed the debris from the fire did not have gasoline, and there was no other evidence of a liquid accelerant. Defendants manufactured a false story about a milk jug which they claimed Gray had filled with gasoline to start the fire and promised the teenager he could go home if he just “came clean.” There was no gasoline residue in the milk jug.

Mr. Gray is represented in his suit against the City of Chicago by Attorneys Jon Loevy, Elizabeth Wang, Tara Thompson and Cindy Tsai of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms, and over the past decade has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country. A copy of the suit, Adam Gray v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 1:18-cv-02624, is available here.

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