Maywood officer betrayed by his department

Former police officer Arian Wade thinks it’s no coincidence that he was allegedly framed on federal drug conspiracy charges while suing the Maywood Police Department. As Wade, 36, brought a lawsuit against the department for passing him over for a sergean

On January 21, 2005, a shocked Wade was arrested in front of his coworkers at the Maywood police station, and hauled to jail with no bond. “I was embarrassed and humiliated,” Wade said. “They were making me a trophy.” The same day, investigators from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office ransacked Wade’s home, reportedly looking for money and drugs. “They tore my place up, it looked like a tornado had been through there.

They treated my house like it was a safe house for drugs,” said Wade. Wade was found not guilty on the drug conspiracy charges in April, and now he is suing the officers and lieutenants who framed him, some of whom still work at the department.

Wade is suing former Police Chief James Collier Jr. (who has since been terminated), Mobley (who has since been demoted to lieutenant), Lieutenant Jose Masariegos, officers DeWayne Wheeler and Theodore Yancey, as well as Cook County State’s Attorney investigators Maurice Macklin and Jeffery Markvart for conspiracy to secure his termination, arrest, imprisonment and prosecution. Prior to Wade’s arrest, he had never been on the wrong side of the law.

A 10-year officer with the Maywood police, he aspired to become police chief, and completed a master’s degree in criminal justice at Lewis University, and an Executive Management program at Northwestern University to prepare himself. But when a spot for sergeant opened up in 2002, Wade, who was more educated than his competitors, was passed over. He filed a lawsuit, and the judge ordered he be promoted next time a sergeant’s position opened up.

But Wade was passed over again in 2004. He said that the slight was about power, not race. “Basically the administration put a glass ceiling on my career,” he said. “It was a power struggle.” But in the midst of his second lawsuit, the department used a drug investigation%uFFFDOperation Pocket Change%uFFFDto pin charges on Wade. They claimed he was being paid by a member of the Gangster Disciples to assist in a drug operation.

The crux of the case against Wade were three memos signed by the present at a meeting where details of the investigation were discussed. Investigators went on to claim that Wade tipped the Gangster Disciple about the raid. But Wade was never at the meeting, and when his trial came in April of this year, a computer forensic expert testified that the memos were created months after Wade was arrested. It took the jury just two hours to find him not guilty. By then, Wade had lost his job and his reputation as a clean cop.

Now the former officer, who has been unemployed since his arrest, is waiting to see his former colleagues in court. His attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said he has an “excellent” chance of winning the case. “The evidence against him was fabricated, and that’s the reason he was acquitted. So I’m very confident,” Zellner said. As for Wade, he said he just wants the thing that has eluded him for so long – justice. “I would say, in a nutshell, that I am seeking justice.

And when I say justice, whatever (form) that is; whether it’s clearing my name, monetary, people held accountable. I’m just seeking justice and that the truth be told,” Wade said. He is unsure about returning to the police force. “They already skipped me over for a promotion, tried to put me in jail for 50 years. What’s next? The only other thing is death.

I’m supposed to put myself on the line for these guys, and how can I trust them again? If I got shot in a (raid), I don’t want my family to wonder if it was a set up,” Wade said. But he still has faith in the justice system. “The problem with the justice system is not the system itself, but the individuals operating within it. There’s no integrity among some police officers and prosecutors. In certain cases it’s not about the truth, it’s about winning at all costs,” Wade said.

“Not everyone who is arrested is guilty.” The Maywood Police department refused to answer questions about the case. “I cannot comment on something that I’m not familiar with. Neither can the people that are party to any current litigation,” said Public Information Officer Timothy Curry, who was a member of the department during Wade’s tenure.

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