/  06.01.2022

Recently (May 23), the Chicago City Council voted unanimously to award a Black man a $14.25 million settlement for a wrongful conviction, according to ABC 7 Chicago. Daniel Taylor spent more than 20 years behind bars for two 1992 murders that he did not commit.

“I never thought I would have to go through what I went through to even receive something like this,” he shared.

While just 17 at the time, Taylor stated that officers beat him and coerced him into making a confession. This led to his arrest and conviction. A jury then found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison. What makes his case stand out is that he was already in police custody for causing a disturbance when the crimes occurred.

“That is a fear and anguish they put on me that only God knows how I survived,” he said. Taylor added that during his trial, authorities withheld the fact that he was in a jail cell when the murders happened — evidence that could have overturned his conviction.

On Nov. 16, 1992, Jeffrey Lassiter and Sharon Haugabook were shot in an uptown Chicago neighborhood. At the time of their deaths, the 17-year-old had been arrested hours earlier for fighting.

“The city knew Daniel was innocent back in 1992 and they fought to convict him. They fought his innocence claim and they fought his civil suit for almost nine years,” lawyer Alexa Van Brunt said.

In 2013, Taylor was released from prison. Since then, he has sued the city and worked hard to adjust to life after spending most of his adulthood in prison. “I look forward to the rest of my life. I have a 7-year-old who I love,” he stated.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Taylor’s nearly $15 million settlement is one of the largest recent payouts for Chicago police misconduct.

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