A group of corrupt police officers on Chicago’s South Side had been framing and extorting residents for years. Then they planted drugs on the wrong people: Ben Baker and his girlfriend Clarissa Glenn.

In The New Yorker, Jennifer Gonnerman describes how Glenn’s determination to exonerate her husband helped build a case against police sergeant Ronald Watts and his brazenly crooked cronies. Glenn’s campaign consumed her, and Baker’s absence left their children without a father for too many years. Not only was Baker eventually freed, the state attorney overturned many of Watts’ other tainted convictions. One difficult question remains: how many more innocent people still wallow in prison?

No one knows how many men Watts and his officers framed, in part because so many of them pleaded guilty. Watts’s officers at times planted such large quantities of drugs on Wells residents that they were charged with a Class X felony…

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