Man Could Be Freed After 28 Years In Prison For Tortured False Confession

Mike Krauser
November 21, 2018 - 11:24 am

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago man who has served 28 years in prison after police allegedly tortured a false confession out of him could soon have his confession tossed out and his mother hopes he’ll be freed. 

Gerald Reed’s mother, Armanda Shackleford, stood with a walker in the lobby of the criminal courts building.

“I am so happy to be here. This is a day I have been waiting for, whew, for twenty-eight years," she said.

She said she’s missed so much with her son, “Thanksgiving, Christmas, his birthday, spending the summer.  It has been so hard.”

Shackleford said she’s been setting a place for her son at the table.

“I talked to him three times yesterday and each time it was better and better. He was so excited. You can tell when a person is excited.  You don’t have to be looking at them.  Just hearing their voice," she said.

“Spoon, fork and knife is wrapped in a napkin.  And that’s been on my table for about eight months now.”

She said there have been times when he’s about given up hope.

“No, no, no, no, no.  You can’t do that. Now is not the time to give up. You’ve got to hang in there," she would tell him. 

Gerald Reed alleges detectives working under then-commander Jon Burge tortured a confession out of him for a double-murder when he was 27. 

One, now dead, reportedly admitted in a deposition he probably used the n-word a million times. 

Judge Thomas V. Gainer will rule Wednesday whether Reed’s tortured confession should be suppressed and he gets a new trial.