THE WHOLE TRUTH PROJECT is dedicated to protecting innocent police officers, wrongfully accused of police misconduct in wrongful conviction lawsuits and other civil rights cases.
THE WHOLE TRUTH PROJECT is dedicated to clearing up the misperceptions around wrongful convictions and police misconduct. In particular, we want to make it clear to the public that a wrongful conviction does not necessarily mean there’s been a police misconduct. In fact, the leading cause of a wrongful conviction appears to be eyewitness misidentification. Unfortunately for the police, persons who have been the victims of eyewitness misidentification often turn around and sue police officers – falsely blaming the police for their wrongful conviction. These civil lawsuits are simply a means for the plaintiff to seek millions of dollars. This form of “Cop Lotto” can be quite lucrative, as plaintiffs in wrongful conviction cases often seek $1 million or more for every year they were in prison.
There are regrettably far too many cases in which the WHOLE TRUTH needs to be told – cases big and small. For example, it is not uncommon for criminal court judges to throw out cases where the defendant had possession of only a small amount of drugs. The judge will simply make a finding of “no probable cause.” Unfortunately for the police, criminal defendants frequently will then turn around and sue police officers — claiming the drugs were “planted” on them. It is typically very difficult to expose this type of fraud and fabrication. THE WHOLE TRUTH PROJECT is passionately determined to do whatever it takes to reveal the real story, the whole story in cases such as this – and many, many others.
Although wrongful convictions, when they do happen, are terrible, so are “wrongful police lawsuits” — where an honest, hardworking police officer can be hit with punitive damages (that come out of their pocket) and a City can be hit with a huge multi-million dollar verdict (causing severe financial distress).
a real world example: michael glasper
the quick story
The plaintiff claimed he was framed for robbing a City of Chicago parking lot attendant of cash and two cell phones. The plaintiff said he was merely acting as a good Samaritan, returning a lost cell phone he found on the street. He insisted he had nothing to do with the robbery.
the filed complaint story
Plaintiff Michael Glasper filed his complaint on December 12, 2008. The first sentence of his lawsuit states “In 2006, Michael Glasper was tried for a crime of which he was completely innocent. Because defendants violated his constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process of law, he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison.” (See Filed Complaint for more.)
glasper’s more detailed story
Glasper claimed that on March 16, 2006, he went with his girlfriend, Jantae Spencer, and her daughter, Shantasia, to Columbia College in Chicago — where Ms. Spencer worked part-time as a creative writing teacher. Glasper and Shantasia waited in the hallway for Ms. Spencer to finish teaching her class. After class, the three of them walked to Ms. Spencer’s car. On the way, Glasper found a cell phone “lying on the ground.” Glasper and Ms. Spencer agreed they should return the phone to its rightful owner.
On March 18, 2006, Ms. Spencer found the cell phone’s owner by looking in the phone’s directory. She then called and spoke to the cell phone’s owner, a woman named Violet Ajanku. Ms. Spencer told Ms. Ajanku that she had found her phone and wanted to return it. The two met that same day. (Glasper’s complaint did not explain why it took two days for someone to call the owner of the cell phone).
When Ms. Spencer arrived at Ms. Ajanku’s apartment, Ms. Spencer was confronted by Chicago police officers who told her that the cell phone had been taken during a robbery. Ms. Spencer told the police officers that her boyfriend, Mr. Glasper, had found the cell phone on the street and did not commit the robbery. The police officers ran a background check. They learned that Mr. Glasper had recently been paroled for armed robbery. “Upon learning this, Defendant Officers entered into an agreement to, and did in fact, decide to falsely implicate Mr. Glasper for the robbery and to build a false case against him, with the aim of securing his false imprisonment and wrongful conviction.” (Complaint at par. 19).
That same day, Glasper was arrested and identified by Ms. Ajanku as the person that robbed her. Glasper’s lawsuit claimed that the police “used improper and suggestive interview, photo identification, and physical lineup techniques and manipulated and coached the sole witness, Ms. Ajanku.” (Complaint at par. 22).
Glasper was convicted on September 18, 2006. He was subsequently granted a new trial and was found not guilty at his second trial on July 22, 2008. “Prior to this resolution, Mr. Glasper spent over two years wrongfully incarcerated, with the prospect of dying in prison for a crime he did not commit.” Mr. Glasper filed his civil suit in December, 2008 and sued the City of Chicago, Chicago detectives James Hall and Julie Mendez, and Chicago police officers Donald Eichler and C. Dobek.
the chicago tribune story:
On December 18, 2008, the Chicago Tribune (Steve Schmakeke) ran a story headlined “Riverdale man sues Chicago over wrongful conviction after 2 years in prison.” The story starts out by stating: “A Riverdale man alleges in a federal lawsuit that his girlfriend’s attempt to do a good deed by returning a cell phone found in an alley turned into a nightmare when police framed him for a robbery.” The story ends by stating “Moments after pulling up his sweater to show a scar from where he was stabbed in the back while in prison, Glasper said he never lost hope, drafting his appeal himself at the prison law library and eventually finding an attorney to argue it. “To be honest with you, I kind of was upset,” Glasper said of his reaction to the guilty verdict ,“but I couldn’t give up.’”
the whole truth story:
On March 16, 2006, Violet Ajanku was working as a parking lot attendant at 155 W. Polk Street in Chicago when she was approached by a man brandishing a handgun and demanding money. Ms. Ajanku gave him all the money she had in her cash register ($82). The robber also took two cell phones from her. A witness saw the robber flee and get into a silver four-door car.
Two days later, Ms. Ajanku received a phonecall from an upset woman wanting to know why her “husband” had Ms. Ajanku’s cell phone. The upset caller said she wanted to return the phone. Ms. Ajanku gave the caller her address, then called the police.
Ms. Spencer then pulled up to Ms. Ajanku’s home in a silver four-door car – the same description as the car involved in the robbery. Ms. Ajanku then told Ms. Spencer that the cell phone had been stolen in an armed robbery, and asked for the name of her boyfriend who allegedly found the phone. Ms. Spencer gave the name of “Michael Glasser.” Chicago detectives were able to determine that the correct name was Michael Glasper. A photograph of Mr. Glasper was then shown to Ms. Ajanku. She positively identified Mr. Glasper as the person who robbed her. Ms. Ajanku subsequently picked Mr. Glasper out of a physical line up. Mr. Glasper was arrested for armed robbery. He was convicted in a bench trial, but was able to obtain a new trial, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. At his re-trial, a jury found him not guilty. How? Apparently, Ms. Ajanku, despite her insistence that Glasper was the person who robbed her, told police that the robber was 5 foot 3. Mr. Glasper was closer to 6 feet. Glasper then filed his civil suit.
During discovery, attorneys from Andrew M. Hale & Associates sought to determine if Glasper had any previous arrests for robbing City of Chicago parking lots. Lo and behold, it was determined that Glasper had numerous such arrests.
For example, on February 18, 1997 Glasper robbed a parking lot attendant at 536 W. Huron; on February 23, 1997, Glasper robbed a parking lot attendant at 48 E. Hubbard; on March 1, 1997, Glasper robbed a parking lot attendant at 401 N. State; on March 12, 1997, Glasper robbed a parking lot attendant at 437 N. Orleans; on March 15, 1997, Glasper robbed a parking lot attendant at 213 W. Hubbard; on March 15, 1997, Glasper also robbed a parking lot attendant at 211 E. Grand; on March 20, 1997, Glasper robbed a parking lot attendant at 2340 N. Canon Drive; and on March 21, 1997, Glasper robbed a parking lot attendant at 6120 S. Racine.
Glasper wound up pleading guilty to three of these armed robberies and was sentenced to thirteen years in prison. When confronted with this evidence, Glasper’s attorneys elected to withdraw from the case. The case was subsequently dismissed by the court when Glasper was unable to secure other counsel and did not pursue his case.
THE WHOLE TRUTH PROJECT presents this as a case study example of both fraud and media bias. If you have a Whole Truth story you’d like to share, please reach out to us on our contact page.
For more examples of THE WHOLE TRUTH PROJECT cases, we particularly encourage you to read up on our voluntary dismissals listed below – cases where the plaintiff completely dropped their own lawsuit after our firm’s investigation revealed the case to be bogus!
- Davis v. Dieball (False Arrest)
- Edwards v. Ford (Excessive Force)
- Hall v. City of Chicago (Excessive Force)
- Palmer v. City of Chicago (Excessive Force)
- Sanders v. City of Chicago (False Arrest)
- Santiago v. City of Chicago (Excessive Force)
- Wright v. City of Chicago (Excessive Force)