A lawyer representing a 15-year-old Waukegan student who was wrongfully arrested has said the city’s police tried bribing the teen with McDonald’s in an attempt to get him to confess to the crimes he was being detained for. That was despite the fact that he didn’t commit them.
According to WGN-TV, the family of Martell Williams now wants Waukegan police and his high school to apologize for the incident. Williams was arrested in connection with a shooting and shoplifting incident at a Dollar Store in the city.
But the 15-year-old was nowhere near that store the night those crimes were committed. He was in Lincolnshire playing a high school basketball match for Waukegan at the time. Despite that, Williams was arrested in connection with the incident while he was in school last Wednesday. The teen was in a class when he was suddenly taken out.
“Once I reached the office there were two officers there. As soon as I got in, they didn’t tell me nothing,” Williams recalled. “They just said, ‘you’re under arrest.’”
While in custody, Williams’ attorney claimed investigators started trying to get a confession from the teen, WGN-TV reported. The attorney also said the teen wasn’t notified about the shooting.
“Try to bribe him with McDonald’s saying, ‘look. Just tell us you were there,” the teen’s attorney said. “They don’t even tell him about a shooting. ‘Just tell us you were there and we’ll have you home in ten minutes.’”
Williams was detained at the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center for two nights on attempted murder and aggravated battery charges. He was ultimately released after his family was able to prove that he was indeed playing basketball when the shooting happened. The charges against him were also dropped.
“We are very concerned about the arrest of Martell Williams. Our office dropped the new charges as soon as the new information was presented to us by the Waukegan Police Department,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
Williams family said the high school and authorities need to render an apology to them. “They need to apologize and say he didn’t do this,” his family said at a press conference in front of the Waukegan Police Department on Monday.