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Community activists to protest Chicago police frame-ups at Area 5

Last year, two Area 5 detectives were convicted of drug conspiracy and racketeering -- but dozens of men they and their cop crime partners framed on bogus charges remain behind bars. Join members of Comité Exijimos Justicia ("We Demand Justice") and supporters from across Chicago this Saturday at noon at Riis Park to demand justice for their wrongfully convicted loved ones.
Protest Wrongful Convictions at Area 5!
Protest/March to Area 5 Police Headquarters
Noon, Saturday, July 20
Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton, Chicago

March will proceed to Area 5 police headquarters at Grand and Central.

Members of Comité Exijimos Justicia ("We Demand Justice") and supporters from across Chicago will march on the Chicago police department's Area 5 headquarters (25th District/Grand-Central headquarters) to demand justice for their wrongfully convicted loved ones on Saturday, July 20. The rally and march begins at Riis Park at 12:30 p.m., and will proceed to the 25th District at Grand and Central.

Comite Exigimos Justicia has documented over 60 cases of police frame-ups by Chicago police officers working out of Area 5. All of the cases resulted in convictions of Latino men, and the convictions were almost uniformly based on eyewitness testimony alone – false testimony that was coerced or cajoled out of witnesses. Typically, police presented no physical evidence to link these men to the crimes for which they were convicted. Two cases have been reversed by the appeals court in the last two years, but dozens of other men languish in jail for crimes which they did not commit.

Last spring, two Area 5 detectives, Joseph Miedzianowski, the former head of the Chicago police Gang Crimes Unit, and his partner, Detective John Galligan, were convicted of drug conspiracy and racketeering. Most of the wrongful convictions out of Area 5 were advanced by this unit, which has since been disbanded by Chicago police superintendent Terry Hillard.

During Miedzianowski's trial, Federal prosecutors detailed how the crooked cop and his police crime partners fixed state criminal drug cases as a favor to his accomplices. But the victims of the police frame-ups remain behind bars -- and neither State's Attorney Dick Devine or federal prosecutors have moved to call for these victims' release.

“Why doesn¹t the police department investigate just who Miedzianowski was framing during his 22-year police career?” asks CEJ spokeswoman Ruth Peña. “Innocent men are still sitting in prison because of the bogus frame-ups that Miedzianowski and other Gang Crimes detectives pushed forward.”

On Saturday, activists will demand a meeting with Area 5 Police Commander Michael McCotter and deliver a letter calling on police superintendent Terry Hillard and deputy superintendent Harvey Radney of the Bureau of Investigative Services to take immediate steps to remedy this miscarriage of justice.

“Justice means more than just punishing Miedzianowski,” says Peña. “It also means punishing the other crooked cops in Area 5 and releasing all the innocent men that Miedzianowski and his crew of corrupt cops framed.”

Endorsers of Saturday's protest include the Christian Counsel on Christian Affairs/ Reverend Paul Jakes; the Chicago Anti-Gay Bashing Network; the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago; the Stolen Lives Project; the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality; the Palestine Solidarity Group; Union Latina de Chicago; the Coalition to End the Death Penalty; and the Illinois Campaign to End the Death Penalty.

For more info, email Comité Exijimos Justicia at cejchicago (at)



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