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CHICAGO (WLS) — The ABC7 Chicago I-Team revealed Monday the opening punch in a public relations campaign targeting Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.
A social justice organization has come out with a video, urging Johnson to stop spending hundreds of millions of dollars pursuing people already cleared in criminal cases.
The video campaign, entitled “Dear Brandon,” goes straight at Mayor Johnson. This first episode, which dropped online Monday afternoon, features James Gibson, who served more than 29 years for a double murder before it was determined he’d been tortured by Chicago police into confessing.
As the I-Team has reported, City Hall continues to fight cases such as Gibson’s, long after the wrongly convicted have been found innocent.
“Dear Brandon, my name is James Grant Gibson. I served 29 years, four months and seven days of illicit prosecutions, of false imprisonment and torture. I’ve been issued a certificate of innocence, exonerated. I’ve been awarded $200,000 from the state of Illinois. So what is there to re-litigate against the city now?” Gibson says.
The “Dear Brandon” campaign will feature individuals wrongfully convicted, and mothers who have lost their sons to unjustified police shootings in Chicago, placing public pressure on the mayor to stop spending hundreds of millions of dollars fighting suits against Chicago by wrongfully convicted people who have certificates of innocence, which are granted by a judge.
RELATED: Brothers tortured into confessing by former CPD commander Jon Burge still picking up pieces of lives
I-Team investigations have found this practice has been happening for decades, with taxpayers coughing up millions to outside law firms for predictable legal losses and court fights experts say the city should never undertake.
“It was been a disgrace, and a horrible part of Chicago’s history. We already know James Gibson is going to win his case, whether it’s at trial, or via settlement,” defense attorney Andrew Stroth said.
After it was determined notorious ex-CPD Cmdr. Jon Burge had tortured Gibson, he was cleared of killing two people in 1989.
In the video, Gibson get emotional talking about not seeing his mother when she died.
“They took everything. They took everything. They tried to take my morals and my principals. This is a picture of my mama they sent me in prison was she died. And they wouldn’t allow me to go see her. Dear Brandon Johnson, take a direct course and direct action in stopping this political red tape with this madness of wasting taxpayers’ money,” Gibson says.
The Truth Hope & Justice Initiative is undertaking this civil rights and government fiscal responsibility campaign, with additional videos addressed “Dear Brandon” coming soon.
City law officials and Mayor Johnson have never responded to I-Team questions about why these legal cases are necessary or a good use of taxpayer funds.