The Watch

News and Information for Chicago FOP members.

FOP Statement On Anthony Jakes Exoneration

The Fraternal Order of Police is gravely disappointed with the decision by Cook County Prosecutor Robert Milan to throw out charges against Anthony Jakes for a 1991 murder.

The FOP believes that there was enough evidence in this case to retry it—and to retry it successfully. Furthermore, the FOP rejects the claims of police misconduct in this case—like so many others.

Cook County prosecutors have caved in to wrongful conviction claims too often, politicizing the prosecutor’s office and drastically harming law and order in the city. There is now plenty of evidence that many wrongful conviction claims based on allegations of police misconduct are false.

Indeed, the FOP has argued time and again that wrongful conviction claims have become a wildly successful cottage industry for certain lawyers in the City, but prosecutors still balk at retrying these suspicious claims.

The decision by Milan not to retry this case is particularly troubling given Milan’s relationship to former Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine, whose decisions in key wrongful conviction cases in 1999 are now under fire in at least in two federal lawsuits in which there is evidence of misconduct in the wrongful conviction movement.

Equally troubling in this exoneration is the reporting of Tribune reporter Megan Crepeau, a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Northwestern is a defendant in a landmark case alleging a pattern of misconduct in wrongful conviction cases.

Crepeau and the Tribune have established a clear record of bias in wrongful conviction claims, wholly ignoring the emerging pattern of misconduct in these cases and failing to examine closely the cases’ underlying records.

The FOP believes that Tribune coverage of police misconduct is so biased, so unwilling to look at all the facts and weigh them fairly that the Tribune’s coverage simply cannot be trusted.

A primary detective in this case, Mike Kill, who is now deceased, was a committed investigator. He is held in great respect by his coworkers and supervisors. In their uninvestigated, one-sided coverage that appears more like media relations for the wrongful conviction law firms making allegations, the Tribune has destroyed the reputations of many fine detectives and police officers. This case is quite likely another example.

Just as the civil trials in the Anthony Porter and Nicole Harris cases revealed just how completely wrong the Tribune’s coverage of these exonerations truly were, the FOP believes a trial in this case would likely have done the same.

The real disgrace in this case is the decision by Milan not retry it and coverage by reporters like Megan Crepeau.