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Jaime Hauad, victim of Chicago cop torture, released from prison

By staff |
January 24, 2018
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Anabel Perez (left), mother of Jaime Hauad
Anabel Perez (left), mother of Jaime Hauad, was honored at the annual People’s Thanksgiving event in Chicago in December, sponsored by Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Perez was one of four mothers honored for their decades of work to free their sons and all the torture victims (L to R): Anabel Perez (Jaime Hauad), Bertha Escamilla (Nick Escamilla), Armanda Shackleford (Gerald Reed), and Carolyn Johnson (Marcus Wiggins). (Photo by LA Eminari)

Chicago, IL - In 1997, a corrupt police detective in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, Joseph Miedzianowski, arrested 17-year-old Jaime Hauad. After torturing Hauad into making statements that were used to incriminate him, he was charged with murder, wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Years later, Miedzianowski and Gang Crimes Unit head, Reynaldo Guevara, were exposed for having wrongfully convicted 51 young men, mainly Puerto Rican and Chicanos/Latinos.

Hauad’s mother, Anabel Perez, has fought for freedom for her son since then, joining the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and working in the movement against police crimes. On Friday, Jan. 19, Hauad finally walked free from prison.

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression issued the following statement to mark this important victory:

Welcome home Jaime Hauad!!! All power to the people!!!

Now let’s free Gerald Reed and all the torture victims!

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (the Alliance) hails the decision of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to act to free Jaime Hauad from prison, 21 years after he was wrongfully convicted of a double murder. This decision is a precedent for the release of other victims of police torture.

We are so happy for Anabel Perez, Jaime and his entire family, for this is the day you and the movement have been fighting to see for many years. Those were years of endurance and the persistence of a mother's love, together with our collective determination not to surrender for one minute to the forces of racism and police terror.

This historic victory could not have happened without the Alliance and the movement. It is the families and the movement - united, organized struggle - that has been the driving force for justice that won Jaime Hauad’s freedom after 21 years. Jaime has pledged that he is now joining the fight to free the rest of the victims of police torture.

We remember that at first Foxx declined to review Hauad’s case. The Alliance called a news conference denouncing this as a travesty of justice. At that moment Foxx asked us for a meeting, which included Anabel Perez, Armanda Shackleford (Gerald Reed’s mother) and 20 other families. Following that meeting Hauad’s case was sent to the SA’s Conviction Integrity Unit.

Finally, Foxx moved in court last Thursday that Hauad’s sentence of life without possibility of parole be reduced to time served. The case had been referred by the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC) for review by the courts, but Foxx cut the process short by moving to have Hauad released immediately. Typically, it takes the courts as long as ten years to process a TIRC finding.

In the spirit of this courageous act by Kim Foxx, the Alliance renews its call for Governor Bruce Rauner to immediately pardon all victims of torture, false confession, and free the hundreds remaining in prison. The governor can do this with a stroke of his pen. A petition supporting this demand has been signed by thousands of people.

Even though free, Hauad’s conviction remains on his record, and the movement and his attorneys are working to win his complete exoneration.

The Alliance has also organized over 50,000 people calling for the City Council to enact the ordinance that will create an all-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) to prevent police crimes such as torture, murder, racial profiling and false arrest.

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