Loevy & Loevy Forces FBI To Produce Files On Convicted Chicago Cop

In 2013, Chicago police officer Ronald Watts pled guilty to demanding protection payoffs for years from drug dealers in the Ida B. Wells public housing complex. Watts is currently serving time in federal prison. Watts’ conduct was called a “betrayal” and “unconscionable” by the judge who sentenced him.

Despite the deplorable nature of Watts’ conduct, the FBI refused to produce its investigative files on Watts because it considered Watts’ privacy interests to outweigh the public’s interest in knowing about the investigation. We disagreed, and on behalf of our client, Ben Baker, we sued FBI to force it to release the records. Ben Baker was wrongfully convicted of a drug charge in 2006 based on Watts’ testimony. Mr. Baker is seeking the FBI’s records to assist him in proving his innocence.

In response to our suit, the FBI has changed its position and withdrawn its privacy claim and will begin producing the Watts file in April. When it does, we’ll make the file public on our website. We hope that this case represents not just a change of course with regard to Watts, but that FBI now recognizes that the public’s right to know the details of an investigation into convicted officers always outweighs any alleged privacy interest. If not, we will be ready to file suit to force change.

For more information about our Freedom of Information Act practice, click here.

Press Releases

Take Action Today

To discuss your case with an experienced civil rights attorney, contact our firm today for a free and confidential consultation at 888-644-6459 (toll-free) or 312-243-5900.

Our Impact

Read the latest blog posts, articles, and writings from Loevy + Loevy’s attorneys and staff.

Loevy & Loevy has won more multi-million dollar verdicts than perhaps any other law firm in the country over the past decade. 

We take on the nation’s most difficult public interest cases, advocating in and outside the courtroom to secure justice for our clients and to hold officials, governments, and corporations accountable.

Scroll to Top

If you or your property were impacted by the demolition of the smokestack at the former Crawford Coal Plant in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood in April 2020, you may be entitled to compensation from a class action settlement. You can learn more about the settlement and file a claim at www.littlevillagesmokestack.com. If you have questions, you may also contact the attorneys working on the settlement by calling (800) 244-0942.