Harvey, Illinois, Mayor Kellogg and Top Cops Named in Federal Civil Rights Suit Alleging Conspiracy, Threats and Frame-Up of Javon Patterson

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Harvey, Illinois, Mayor Eric Kellogg, former Police Commander Smith, former Harvey Detective Dorrough, among others, named defendants in a federal civil rights suit alleging that they conspired to frame Javon Patterson in retaliation for cocaine stolen from their possession. The suit, filed by RM Stephenson, LLC, is currently pending in the Northern District of Illinois.

Javon Patterson

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the Illinois Attorney General had been served with a copy of the petition and afforded the opportunity to oppose it. Both offices elected not to oppose the certificate, thereby ensuring a finding of innocence.

Approximately twelve individuals in the history of Illinois have been able to successfully meet the burden necessary to obtain a Certificate of Innocence from the Circuit Court based on a wrongful conviction, and Javon Patterson is one of them. See, People v. Patterson, 06 CR 13933 (Cook County Circuit Court, Criminal Division, filed October 23, 2009)(Attached to this release).

Now, in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by his attorneys Robert M. Stephenson and Holly Blaine in the Northern District of Illinois, alleging facts that mirror those in the [Certificate of Innocence, Javon Patterson is suing the City of Harvey, Illinois, sitting Mayor Eric Kellogg, past and present members of the Harvey Police Force, and a city Alderman.

The complaint is based on allegations that the defendants conspired to frame Mr. Patterson for a criminal offense in retaliation for cocaine that they believed Willie Lloyd, Mr. Patterson's acquaintance, stole from their possession. See, Patterson v. City of Harvey et. al., 10 CV 1491 (Filed March 5, 2010)(Attached to this release).

The Chicago Tribune called the allegations in the complaint the most "explosive" ever raised against corruption in Harvey, Illinois.

ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT:

The complaint alleges that on or about January 26, 2006, Willie Lloyd approached Javon Patterson seeking assistance in stealing cocaine from the individual defendants. Mr. Patterson refused. Approximately three weeks later, Lloyd again approached Patterson with a large quantity of cocaine, and asked Patterson’s assistance in turning it into crack. Patterson again refused.

On or about March 7, 2006, approximately three weeks after the second encounter with Lloyd, Harvey Alderman Price and former Detective Dorrough approached Patterson and threatened to “put a case” on him if he did not return the cocaine that Willie Lloyd stole, according to the complaint.

Patterson informed members of the FBI of the alleged threats he received from Price and Dorrough. The FBI acknowledged seeing the Alderman and the Detective at Patterson’s house, and requested Patterson to wear a wire. Mr. Patterson declined out of fear for his safety.

On April 8, 2006, 16-year-old Willie Lloyd was found dead in an alley in Harvey, Illinois. This case, classified as a homicide, remains unsolved.

On April 24, 2006, the Harvey Police Department arrested Javon Patterson while he assisted an elderly neighbor bring groceries into her house. The arresting officers claimed that they recovered a weapon in Patterson’s pocket. Two eyewitnesses testified that the officers recovered only paper and money from Patterson’s pocket.

The complaint further alleges that Mayor Kellogg and Detective Dorrough questioned Patterson at the station concerning the whereabouts of the stolen cocaine. Mr. Patterson was threatened with a false murder charge if he did not co-operate. Patterson maintained that he had no knowledge of the stolen cocaine.

The Circuit Court of Cook County convicted Patterson of the offense of Armed Habitual Criminal, and sentenced to six-years in prison. See, People v. Patterson, 06 CR 13933 (Judgment, February 20, 2007).

On May 16, 2008, the Appellate Court, First District, reversed Mr. Patterson’s conviction outright, holding that the officers lacked probable cause to search Mr. Patterson at the time of his arrest. See, People v. Patterson, 1-07-0990 (1st Dist. May 16, 2008)(Unpublished pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 23)(Attached to this release).    

On January 13, 2010, the Cook County Circuit Court, Criminal Division, granted a Petition for Certificate of Innocence filed by Patterson’s attorneys Robert M. Stephenson and Holly Blaine. See, People v. Patterson, 06 CR 13933 (Cook County Circuit Court, Criminal Division, filed October 23, 2009)(Attached to this release).

The Petition alleged nearly identical facts to those alleged in the now-pending federal suit. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the Illinois Attorney General had been served with a copy of the petition and afforded the opportunity to oppose it. Both offices elected not to oppose the certificate, thereby ensuring a finding of innocence. See, People v. Patterson, 06 CR 13933 (Cook County Circuit Court, Criminal Division, filed October 23, 2009)(Attached to this release).

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