Innocent Men Freed from Prison After 20 Yrs Now Suing Cops Who Wrongly Put Them There

Kevin Koeninger | Courthouse News Service

CLEVELAND (CN) – Two Ohio men convicted of murder when they were teenagers say police and prosecutors withheld evidence that would have shown their innocence to send them to prison for 20 years for a crime they didn’t commit.

Derrick Wheatt and Laurese Glover – who were exonerated and released from prison in 2015 – claim the East Cleveland Police Department and Cuyahoga County prosecutors worked together to wrongfully convict them of the 1995 murder of Clifton Hudson.

“This misconduct included but was not limited to witness manipulation; unduly suggestive witness identifications and photo lineups; and fabrication, destruction, and suppression of evidence,” according to a lawsuit the two men filed Thursday in Cleveland federal court.

Wheatt and Glover were 17 and 16, respectively, when Hudson was shot and killed in February 1995.

According to the complaint, the two were in a black SUV with another man, Eugene Johnson, when they saw the killer shoot Hudson and flee the scene.

The three men were arrested within 24 hours, after 14-year-old Tamika Harris told police “there was a black 4×4-type vehicle at the scene and that she thought the shooter came from the vehicle,” even though her description of the shooter did not match any of the men, the lawsuit states.

Wheatt and Glover claim police manipulated Harris, including using “an unduly suggestive photo array” that included only their pictures, and by telling her “that ‘these guys did it’ and [police] ‘had them in jail.’”

Investigators also withheld exculpatory evidence provided by a second witness, the men claim.

According to the complaint, a boy who lived near the scene of the crime said he saw the shooter come out of a nearby parking lot, and “that he had seen the suspect before, when the suspect was visiting a female classmate at his school, and that the suspect was or may have been the brother of the female classmate.”

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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