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Matthew Dixon

Other Cook County, Illinois exonerations with no crime
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/Matthew_Dixon%202.jpeg
On April 1, 2017, 24-year-old Matthew Dixon and a friend, Antwon Scott, were visiting a friend of Scott’s in the 7900 block of South Phillips Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, to drop off some clothes. Dixon was in the hallway outside of the apartment when Chicago police officers rushed inside through the back door.

Officers came into the hallway, pushed Dixon to the floor, and handcuffed him. Scott also was detained. Police searched the apartment and claimed to have found a handgun and a golf ball-sized lump of cocaine. Scott was charged with gun possession and delivery of narcotics. Dixon was charged with possession of cocaine.

Dixon was released on bond, but required to wear an electronic monitor. On August 15, 2017, Dixon, who was facing the loss of his housing, pled guilty in Cook County Circuit Court to possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to two years on probation. Scott challenged the arrest, and, in 2018, the arrest was quashed, the evidence was suppressed, and the charges were dismissed when a judge ruled the warrantless entry was improper.

At Scott’s pretrial hearing on the motion to suppress the evidence, officer David Salgado testified that he and Sgt. Xavier Elizondo had been surveilling the apartment from across the street for two straight days based on an alleged informant’s tip that Scott was selling drugs there. Salgado did not document what he said was constant drug sales nor did he identify the informant. There was so much drug activity that he could not ascertain the exact address of the sales without blowing his cover, Salgado said.

On April 1, 2017 at approximately 12:50 p.m., from their surveillance point, Salgado said he saw two Black males knock on a back window. Moments later, the locked door was opened. Salgado and Elizondo then left their surveillance location and followed the two individuals through the door before it closed. According to Salgado, upon entering the door and going into the vestibule, he saw Dixon holding a “golf-size ball” of suspected crack cocaine. Salgado testified he saw Scott with “a handgun protruding from his sweater pocket area.” The report filed by Elizondo and Salgado said that both Dixon and Scott admitted possessing the drugs and gun after they were arrested. Dixon and Scott denied making any statements to the officers.

In July 2020, attorney Joshua Tepfer from the Exoneration Project, a free legal clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, filed a petition seeking to vacate Dixon’s conviction.

The petition detailed how in October 2019, Elizondo and Salgado had been convicted in U.S. District Court of corruption charges relating to the falsification of search warrants, planting of drugs and guns on innocent men and women, and the theft of cash and other valuables from homes that were illegally searched. The officers then filed false reports.

Elizondo had been sentenced to seven years and three months in prison, and Salgado had been sentenced to five years and eleven months in prison. Federal prosecutors branded the officers as “thoroughly corrupt.”

Meanwhile, the Cook County State’s attorney’s office began dismissing dozens of pending cases that were the result of arrests by Elizondo and Salgado. They agreed to vacate and dismiss the conviction of Sharron Rocquemore, who had been falsely accused of possession of narcotics and had been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty.

On October 12, 2021, the prosecution agreed to vacate Dixon’s conviction. On July 13, 2022, the prosecution dismissed the case.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 7/24/2022
Last Updated: 7/24/2022
State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2017
Convicted:2017
Exonerated:2022
Sentence:Probation
Race/Ethnicity:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:24
Contributing Factors:False Confession, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No