Family of David Ranta, Wrongfully Imprisoned for 23 Years, Sues City for $15 Million

The police line-up in which David Ranta was falsely identified as a murderer.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's review of 90 questionable convictions, the tarnished reputation of former detective Louis Scarcella, the seven exonerations in Brooklyn in 2014, the renewed focus on police and prosecutiorial misconduct during New York City's crack era--it all started with David Ranta.

See also: The Prisoner's Daughter: What if your dad had been doing time for murder for as long as you'd known him?

Ranta was exonerated in 2013, after having served 23 years in prison. Ranta is now suing the city for $150 million. Yet the law enforcement misbehavior that led to his wrongful conviction was so blatant and outrageous that the city comptroller's office offered Ranta a $6.4 million settlement before the city's legal department even got involved in the lawsuit. It was an unprecedented move.

The settlement, however, did not mean the city was done paying for the injustice. On Wednesday, Ranta's wife and children sued the city for $15 million.

Ranta's family is able to sue the city because the settlement addressed only the wrongs committed against Ranta.

"David Ranta is the sole claimant with whom we settled," Eric Sumberg, a spokesman at the comptroller's office, told the New York Times. "Anyone is allowed to file claims with our office and we will evaluate all claims based on their merits."

Wednesday's suit focuses on the suffering of Ranta's wife and two children. The complaint states that they were "branded as the family of a murderer and deprived of the love and affection of their husband and father."

It lists as defendants the city, the NYPD, and the two lead detectives in the case, Louis Scarcella and Steve Chmil.

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