Terrance Thompson

Bad cops framed Terrance Thompson

Terrance Thompson was arrested in front of his home on the west side of Chicago on September 21, 2001, by officers from the Chicago Police Department's Special Operations Section (SOS) and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He claimed that the officers — Carl Suchocki, Tim McDermott, and John Burzinski — planted the gun after he refused to answer questions. Two years later, a jury convicted him based on the officers' testimony. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. On March 31, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court reversed and remanded the case based on a jury-selection issue.

While the retrial was pending, the officers who had testified against Thompson were indicted by a federal grand jury for engaging in a pattern of conduct identical to that which Thompson alleged — planting evidence on defendants. Based on information in the federal indictment, prosecutors dismissed the charges against Thompson on December 5, 2006. On November 10, 2009, a federal jury awarded Thompson $15,000 for his wrongful arrest and prosecution.

— Penny Beerntsen and Rob Warden