IL Cops Who Coerced A Murder Confession From Innocent Teen Still On The Job

You can’t reform the kind of corruption that trades a Big Mac for an innocent child’s life.

Chair in the office

Source: HUIZENG HU / Getty

No amount of photo ops of officers hugging kids or playing a pick-up game at neighborhood courts will cover up the ways police violate and abuse the very people they are supposed to protect. While children are taught that Officer Friendly is a hero on stand-by to save them, Illinois had to pass new laws last year to make it illegal to lie to kids during interrogations. That attempt at police reform still wasn’t enough to protect 15-year-old Martell Williams from the same fate as the Exonerated Five, formerly known as the Central Park Five. According to CBS News, officers tricked the boy into a false confession for attempted murder and despite breaking the new interrogation law, they are still on the job.

“It makes me not trust police a lot more,” said Williams, whose life was almost destroyed by corrupt cops. The freshman was at Waukegan Highschool, in a suburb just outside Chicago, when he was pulled out of class and arrested.

“The dean came down and got me and walked me to her office. And once I reached her office, there were two police officers,” Williams told ABC7 News after the incident in February. “As soon as I got in, they didn’t tell me nothing, say nothing to me. They just said, ‘You’re under arrest.’”

They dragged him in cuffs from school to the Waukegan Police Department, where they continued to violate his constitutional rights. The boy wasn’t even informed what crime he was accused of committing. The cops just kept repeating how obviously guilty he was of this mystery crime. Big slavecatcher energy!

“The officers said that multiple people came to him and said it was me.”

In addition to blatantly lying to Williams, officers bribed the boy with McDonald’s in exchange for a confession without even telling him what he was admitting to. They also violated his rights by questioning him without a parent or attorney present. He wasn’t even allowed to call his mother.

The crime was attempted murder and aggravated battery for shooting a local Dollar Store employee in the face on Feb. 4, the same date and time Williams was starting in a basketball game 20 minutes away in Lincolnshire.

“They didn’t even tell him a shooting was involved,” said Williams’ attorney Kevin O’Connor. “They just said, ‘Hey, it wasn’t your fault. Just tell us you were defending yourself. Just go ahead and tell us you were there and we will let you go home.”

That was another lie. After the incompetent Waukegan cops manipulated and bribed a scared child with food, they kept the high school freshman behind bars for two days at the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center.

Instead of actually doing any kind of real police work, Williams’ family had to do their own investigation to prove he was at the basketball game at the exact time of the shooting with a time-stamped photo.

“This is a continuing and ongoing problem,” O’Connor said. “The Department of Justice has been here, yet this is still going on, where there are false confessions brought in.”

Like many police reforms, the law about lying to minors during interrogations has no consequences for the cops who violate it. So far, Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor has only offered hollow words about change without any policy changes or discipline for the corrupt, lazy officers involved. In fact, those officers are currently on the job and could be terrorizing another innocent child right now.

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