At least 10 men had their drug convictions vacated Monday marking the fourth mass exoneration tied to notorious Chicago police sergeant Ronald Watts and his tainted tactical unit. 

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“This is a long time coming,” said Derrick Lewis, whose conviction was vacated Monday. “No one, I mean no one, heard our cries. This is really a message to the system- we all need to do better.”

The latest wave brings the total number of people whose Watts-era convictions have been overturned to at least 63.

Seven more convictions have been overturned due to the actions of disgraced former Chicago cop Ronald Watts, and those impacted are still trying to get their lives back on track. NBC 5‘s Chris Hush reports.

(Published Friday, Nov. 2, 2018)

A judge threw out the convictions of and , with Foxx issuing an apology to those imprisoned by Watts, who critics say ran roughshod and virtually unsupervised for a decade on Chicago’s South Side.

Residents of the Ida B. Wells housing project had long argued they were being unjustly targeted.

“They put cases on people who didn‘t cooperate with their corrupt schemes, took bribes, stole money and drugs from drug dealers, and really ruined the lives of dozens – maybe hundreds,” attorney Joel Flaxman said at a previous mass exoneration. “These officers knew who they were, would go after them, and would frame them over and over again.”

Watts and one of his officers were eventually arrested themselves. But most of the remaining officers, more than a dozen, remain on the force.

All are on desk duty, and the county has issued a “do not call” list for most of them, declaring they lack the credibility to serve as witnesses in criminal proceedings.

“When the system fails one of us, it fails every single one of us,” defense attorney Sean Starr said after court Monday. “As citizens of the city, we need to demand more.”

Seven more people had their records cleared after being convicted under corrupt former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts. Sandra Torres reports.

(Published Friday, Nov. 2, 2018)

Four more individuals are expected to be exonerated Wednesday, and defense attorney Joshua Tepfer said he has at least three dozen still being reviewed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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