Some Striking Hotel Workers Settle, 18 Men Exonerated of Crimes Linked to Corrupt Cop – TCT 09/24/18

Some Striking Hotel Workers Reach a Deal with Management Striking hotel workers at 9 of 26 Chicago hotels have reached a deal with management and ratified a contract. “On behalf of striking members of UNITE HERE Local 1, we wish to thank the members of the Chicago Building Trades, the Teamsters, the Elevator Constructors, and the Chicago Federation of Labor for honoring our picket lines,” said UNITE Here Local 1 President Karen Kent in a statement emailed to press last week. Striking Chicago hotel workers picket outside the JW Marriott Hotel in the Loop. Photo by Aaron Cynic. Chicago hotel workers have been on strike for more than two weeks after contract negotiations between management and UNITE Here. They’ve been demanding year-round healthcare. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted his support of the deal and commended both Marriott Hotels and the union for “staying at the table, working in good faith and reaching an agreement that reflects their shared interests.” Workers at 17 hotels are still on strike this week. 18 Men Exonerated of Crimes Linked to Corrupt Cop Eighteen more people convicted of crimes due to the actions of a former corrupt Chicago police officer and his team were exonerated Monday morning. The 18 men had been arrested, tried, and convicted based on the misconduct of former CPD officer Ronald Watts and others under his command. In 2012, Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed were exposed running a protection racket for more than a decade, where they would plant evidence and fabricate charges while simultaneously dealing their own guns and drugs. The pair were federally indicted and pled guilty to taking a bribe from an informant. The new exonerations bring the total number to 42 people with 56 convictions reversed. Last November, 15 men were exonerated. “For more than a decade, the justice system ignored the voices of the many who were abused by Watts and his team,” said Joel Flaxman, of Kenneth N. Flaxman, P.C, attorney for six of the men whose convictions are expected to be dismissed Monday in a press release. “The system is finally listening, and we are finally seeing a measure of justice and accountability.” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx brought the request for the exonerations to a judge in Cook County criminal court on Monday. “As the result of an ongoing review by prosecutors in the Conviction Integrity Unit, today we asked the Court to vacate these convictions in the interest of justice,” said Foxx in a statement. “In these cases we found a pattern of misconduct by Watts and other officers, which strongly impacts our confidence in the initial arrests and validity of these convictions.” Recommended Reads: Prosecution presented fairly strong murder case against former CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke - Brandon Smit/Shadowproof The Real ‘BlacKKKlansman’ Comes To St. Sabina, Says ‘Sooner Than Later We Will Overcome’ - Lee Edwards/Block Club Chicago Illinois Is a Few Elections Away from a Graduated Income Tax - Edward McClelland/Chicago Magazine The Van Dyke trial is about 1 cop firing 16 shots. But broader issues of police cover-up and official silence loom large - Dan Hinkel, Stacy St. Clair and Jeremy Gorner/Chicago Tribune  
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Aaron Cynic