The Watch

News and Information for Chicago FOP members.

Andy Grimm, Poisoning the Jury Pool Again?

The timing and substance of an article in the Chicago Sun-Times about the murder trial of Hadiya Pendleton begs some chilling questions about reporter Andy Grimm and his newspaper. 

Despite a judge’s ruling that chronic accusations by wrongful conviction law firms and their allies against retired detective Jack Halloran, who investigated the 2013 murder case, would not be allowed into evidence in the high-profile trial, Grimm let loose with the mythology about Halloran the day before Halloran was to testify.

In Grimm’s article, there is the chronic, damning omission that permeates Grimm’s entire career and that of his paper: the refusal to address the rampant evidence of corruption in the anti-police movement itself, particularly with wrongful convictions. There is overwhelming evidence that many accusations against detectives like Halloran have been trumped up in an effort by certain lawyers to destroy the Chicago Police Department and subsequently make vast sums of money in civil lawsuits. This evidence is wholly ignored as Grimm unleashes a litany of accusations against Halloran in his article. 

Grimm and his media cohorts will never ask this simple question: If some of the police misconduct claims are bogus, how many others are there? While Grimm refuses to ask this question, he will nevertheless give voice to virtually any claim against detectives such as Halloran by wrongful conviction law firms.

It is a stunning example of how the Chicago media is in the back pocket of the anti-police movement, particularly the wrongful conviction law firms, which have been working for decades to go after Halloran and several of his partners. 

The timing of Grimm’s article is perhaps most revealing. It bears all the hallmarks of the Chicago media’s pattern and practice of moving criminal trials out of the courtroom and into the court of public opinion and published when it is most likely to influence a case. 

If the judge ruled the accusations against Halloran are not relevant in the trial, why then did Grimm feel the need to regurgitate them the day before Halloran was to testify?

And it isn’t just the timing of the article that is so suspicious. 

It is also the substance of Grimm’s article. Grimm writes in the article that Halloran “played the bad cop in the early hours of the seventeen hour interrogation.” Does Grimm live in some television drama fantasy world? Where does he get this from? What does it mean that Halloran played the “bad cop”? How could Grimm write this before he even heard Halloran’s testimony? How could such trite editorializing posing as a news piece make it past any editors? 

Then there is the absolute failure of Grimm to get even the basic facts of his article correct, as if Grimm will publish any narrative his puppet-master anti-police attorneys and activists present to him. 

Consider his claim that the defendant was interrogated for seventeen hours. Where does Grimm get this figure? First of all, seventeen hours is not a long interrogation, by any measure. But, in truth, the defendant was in custody for only twelve hours before confessing. Grimm knows this because he attended all the hearings in which the public defender unsuccessfully fought to keep from having the taped interviews played before the jury. 

But it is Grimm’s utterly false statements about Halloran’s investigation into a 1992 murder case that is most damning, a case Grimm uses to assert Halloran’s supposed pattern of suspicious confessions. 

Grimm:

The decorated detective has been named in numerous lawsuits alleging he bullied or beat suspects into false confessions, including Peter Williams, who confessed to a 1992 rape. 

 Prosecutors dropped charges against Williams when his lawyers located jail records that showed Williams had been locked up at the time of the rape, but co-defendants Dan Young and Harold Hill, who also confessed, were convicted — then exonerated by DNA evidence. 

 Grimm is entirely wrong, gravely so. 

First of all, Williams confessed to not just a rape. The case was a rape and murder. Grimm seems too much in a hurry to get to the allegations against Halloran to include such pesky details as telling his readers that the victim was murdered in addition to being raped. 

More importantly, it wasn’t prosecutors who dropped the charges against Peter Williams. When Halloran and his coworkers discovered records that said Williams was in the county jail at the time of the rape and murder, they declined to charge him. 

Williams was charged, and convicted based upon a confession, in connection with another murder that other detectives were investigating. 

How can Grimm get away with getting such basic, crucial facts completely wrong? What would happen to a cop who was this careless or biased? Does Grimm just make stuff up to attack a police officer the day before a trial of the murder of a young girl? 

Not only does Grimm get all these facts wrong, but he omits some telling background about Williams. Right now, Williams is awaiting trial in Cook County Jail for shooting a police officer and raping a woman during a hostage standoff in Harvey. Williams was also featured in a June 15 Sun-Times article for viciously attacking a Cook County Sheriff while in custody.

This is the guy whose claims seem to garner more credibility from a Sun-Timesreporter like Andy Grimm than those of a highly decorated detective like Jack Halloran. 

Last and not least is Grimm’s final shot about Halloran’s involvement in another case. Here is what Grimm writes:

Halloran also was one of the detectives who secured a confession from Nevest Colemanand Derrell Fulton, who said they were beaten into signing false admissions of guilt in a 1994 rape case. Both were convicted and served many years in prison before being cleared by DNA. 

There is overwhelming evidence that both men were involved in the crime, despite being exonerated, including the fact that the victim, who was also raped before being murdered, was last seen with Coleman and her body was found in his basement. 

How does Grimm account for that? 

Kind of important background, Andy. Something readers who care about what actually happened to this poor woman might want to know.

Far from illuminating anything relevant to the horrible case of a murdered child, Andy Grimm shows once again the depraved soul of the Chicago media.