Man Who Lost 2 Decades of His Life Behind Bars Sues City

Daniel Taylor, framed by Chicago police, was in their custody when the crime they imprisoned him for occurred

CHICAGO – In 1992, 17-year-old Daniel Taylor was in police custody on a disorderly conduct charge.  At the same time, someone committed a double-homicide, yet Taylor ended up spending more than half his life in prison for this murder. 

Today, he and his attorneys with the MacArthur Justice Center at the Northwestern University School of Law and Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law filed suit in federal court against the city and its police officers for suppressing this and other facts that should have cleared him as a suspect.

The lawsuit charges:

  • To get false confessions, Chicago police officers beat several young Black men, including Taylor, as they were handcuffed to the wall of interrogation rooms, threatening some with handguns, forcing some to urinate on themselves for lack of access to restrooms, and for those under-age, denying them access to their parents or guardians for prolonged periods of time;
  • Police took advantage of a mentally disabled 15-year-old to coerce a false statement out of him implicating Taylor, himself and other innocent youths;
  • To hide the fact that Taylor was in police custody at the time of the homicides, officers made up an alleged encounter they had with him near the crime scene around the time of the murders and then fabricated a police report about this “meeting”;
  • When an eyewitness reported to police that she saw individuals leaving the crime scene and that Taylor wasn’t among them, police falsified her statement to say that he was; and,
  • Despite a court order banning the practice of creating “street files”– reports and evidence hidden from defendants and their attorneys — police withheld witness statements and other evidence that would have cleared Taylor.

“He had a police time-stamped alibi,” said Jon Loevy, one of Taylor’s attorneys.  “For every innocent man with such luck, how many hundreds or thousands more innocent men are wasting away in Illinois’s prisons, but without a bullet-proof alibi?”

”This case is absolutely bone-chilling,” said Locke Bowman, Director of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center.  “Here is proof that when Chicago Police are intent on solving a crime without regard to the truth and the facts, there is absolutely nothing that will stand in their way—especially if you’re an African American youngster.”

At a press conference this afternoon to discuss the suit, Taylor will be joined by his attorneys Locke E. Bowman, David M. Shapiro and Alexa Van Brunt of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at the Northwestern University School of Law, and Jon Loevy and David B. Owens of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law.

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