Futterman and Thompson on Claims of Confessions Coerced by a Chicago Detective

Dozens claim a Chicago detective beat them into confessions. A pattern of abuse or a pattern of lies?

Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor who studies police accountability, said the accusations point to a broader problem — a police department that essentially investigated itself.

“The Chicago system for investigating and addressing misconduct and brutality have been designed and have worked to protect officers from discipline,” Futterman said. “The so-called investigative systems have been a critical component of the code of silence in Chicago, the machinery of denial.”


Tara Thompson, a lawyer with the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project who represents Murray, said the new evidence from Washington — corroborated by other witnesses — alone should be enough to exonerate her client. But she said the long list of allegations against Kato, and Murray’s claims that he was beaten into confessing, should bolster his argument for release. She said that jurors dismissed evidence that Murray was kicked in the chest during his interrogation — he presented the white sweater he had been wearing, and it had a shoe print on the front — but argued that had jurors heard evidence of a pattern of abuse, that might have affected the case’s outcome.

“I believe it’s about racism and about a belief that the lives of people of color and the safety of people of color are less important,” Thompson said. “And so, can I, as a police officer, act with impunity against a person of color and not fear repercussions?”

Read more at The Washington Post