In January 2013 police raided the home of a Cleveland drug dealer, saying in a search warrant that an informant had recently bought crack cocaine there.
But the drug dealer had surveillance cameras that proved the officers were lying. He gave the tapes to his lawyer, who showed the FBI. The feds then worked to uncover a massive scandal of a rogue street-crimes unit that robbed and framed drug suspects who felt they had no choice but plead guilty to fraudulent charges.
Four years later, authorities are still unwinding the damage.
Three cops who worked for the city of East Cleveland are in prison. Cases against 22 alleged drug dealers have been dismissed. Authorities are searching for another 21 people who are eligible to have their convictions tossed. On top of those injustices there is a slim chance that any of them will be fully reimbursed, because the disgraced officers and their former employer don't have the money.
"I always took it on the chin when I got arrested for something I know I did. But when a cop lies to get you in prison, that's a different story," said Kenneth Blackshaw, who was arrested in a 2013 traffic stop and spent two years behind bars before his drug conviction was overturned.
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