Shawn Whirl is finally a free man after a group of officers known as the “midnight crew” tortured and forced a false confession out of him for a crime he never committed.
This is how Whirl got caught up in this mess according to Huffington Post:
In April 1990, Whirl was 20. He worked as a computer operator, had a girlfriend and a close relationship to his mother. He had no criminal history.
He was arrested and charged with the South Side murder of a 40-year-old cab driver named Billy Williams after police found his fingerprints in the back of the cab.
Whirl said he had jumped into Williams’ cab two days earlier to escape gang members who were trying to stick him up for his hat and jacket. He told detectives he had nothing to do with the murder, court records show.
After hours of interrogation, with Whirl still handcuffed to a wall, Chicago Detective James Pineta entered the room. He stepped on Whirl’s foot, said, “Wake up nigger,” and slapped Whirl in the face, according to court records. The detective told Whirl his previous statement “won’t do.”
Whirl continued to say he was innocent. Pienta, according to the court records, gashed Whirl’s leg with a set of keys.
Whirl’s girlfriend testified she had been taken in for questioning by police at the same time and could hear Whirl “hollering” from a room nearby.Whirl eventually signed a statement confessing to the murder.
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