Inmate granted new trial after Jon Burge torture claims continues to fight for freedom

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago inmate who was granted a new trial after claiming he was tortured during the era of Commander Jon Burge is still fighting for his freedom months later, along with his supporters and his mother.

Gerald Reed has been incarcerated for more than 28 years, serving time for a 1990 double murder he says he did not commit. He maintains he was tortured by two detectives who worked under disgraced, and now deceased, Chicago Police Commander Burge.

"Let the man go!" Armanda Shackelford, Reed's mother, yelled after another court hearing today. "You know you don't have nothing! You don't have a leg to stand on!"

Shackelford's frustration and fury boiled over after another court hearing.

"I hurt so bad," she said, "But you know what? I've cried, and cried, and cried. I don't have no more tears."

Her sadness today is a direct contrast to December. On December 19th, 2018, a judge ruled Reed could get a new murder trial and that his coerced confession should not have been accepted in court. At the time, his mother was ecstatic.

Since then, Reed has had nine court hearings, and each one has been continued, which prolongs the process day-by-day. Reed's supporters blame the special prosecutor handling the case.

"So all they are doing now is delaying tactics," said Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. "Why they want to continue to punish this man? Why they want to continue to torture him? It's beyond my comprehension. It's racist."

Reed's defense attorneys and the special prosecutor did not make any comments on-camera after court today.

However, special prosecutor Robert Milan did release a statement later in the afternoon, indicating he was ready to proceed and fight motions in court today, not continue the case again. His statement reads: "It is imperative that prosecutors not make extra judicial comments regarding pending cases. Regarding claims that the State was not prepared to proceed today, please refer to today's court transcripts. Our position was crystal clear."

After court, Reed's supporters surrounded his mother. She vows to continue the legal fight.

"I've been here 28 years. Where's my son? It's not the time to give up now," she said.

The next court hearing has been set for May 10th. Cook County Judge Thomas Hennelly is expected to rule on two defense motions to dismiss the indictments altogether. If the judge, however, keeps the charges, a bond hearing is expected to be held that day.
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