Ronald Bozeman, Wrongly Arrested and Jailed for a Year, Sues
A man who spent a year in jail before robbery and kidnapping charges were tossed out of court is suing the New York City Police Department and the city for "generating false evidence and ignoring evidence of his innocence," court records show.
Ronald Bozeman and his wife, Doris are seeking $16 million in damages and allege that police and prosecutors committed misconduct in pursuing the case which was eventually dismissed. The case was prosecuted by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes's office. The Voice detailed Bozeman's ordeal in an article published January 2.
Bozeman, 64, was arrested on Decemver 7, 2011, on robbery and kidnapping charges. Two men, Ahmed Awadeh and Shady Widdi, told police they were robbed of $9,000 in cash outside a Brooklyn bank by two armed men on August 26, 2011.
A cellphone recovered in the rear of the vehicle was traced to a man named Edicy "Slim" Reedy. Detectives could not immediately find Reedy and let that lead lapse.
DNA on the phone identified a Gregory Johnson, who was arrested in connection with the robbery.
Though Bozeman did not match the description of the other robber, he was arrested when he voluntarily agreed to speak with the detectives. He was then put into a lineup with other men who bore no resemblance to him in what his lawyers call an "impermissibly suggestive" situation. The other men were younger and weighed less.
Moreover, one of the witness told the other which individual to pick out of the lineup--again, a breach of the rules, which state that witnesses should not have any contact when viewing lineups.
In two separate grand juries, prosecutors identified both Bozeman and Johnson as the robber in the front seat of the car--a fact that should have gotten the case dismissed.
Moreover, Bozeman's lawyers say, "There were also numerous and egregious Brady violations and other examples of prosecutorial misconduct by prosecutors during the course of the case," the lawsuit says. Brady refers to rules about turning over evidence to the defense. Bozeman's lawyer, Mark Bederow, made a dozen requests for specific Brady material over a six-month period, which prosecutors ignored.