Derrick Deacon, a 58-year-old man from Brooklyn, New York, is suing New York City, several police officers, and detectives after it was established that he was jailed for a crime he did not commit. According to the New York Post, Deacon spent 24 long years in prison, from 1989 to 2013, after his original trial led to his conviction. He was convicted on murder charges and was accused of killing a 16-year-old, identified as Anthony Wynn. In 2012, Deacon was granted a retrial, following which it was established that he had indeed not killed Anthony and that the murder was committed by another individual. The retrial was granted after a Jamaican gang member revealed that Anthony was killed by another man.
Now, almost two years after his release, Derrick Deacon has decided to sue New York City for several civil rights violations. Deacon had earlier also filed a $25 million lawsuit against the state. He has not added any dollar amount in the new lawsuit filed against the city.
According to NY Daily News, Derrick Deacon’s acquittal was also made possible after another key witness in the case, Coleen Campbell, recanted her original testimony against Derrick. She had earlier claimed that Derrick Deacon was at the murder scene. Later, however, she admitted that several cops, investigators, and attorneys had coerced her to make a bogus tale that led to Deacon’s conviction and his subsequent 24-year-long prison sentence. Coleen claimed that several authorities threatened to take her children away from her if she did not offer testimony against Deacon. Following Coleen’s fresh testimony, it took just nine minutes for a Brooklyn Supreme Court jury to acquit Derrick Deacon of all charges against him.
In a statement by Derrick Deacon’s lawyer, Earl Ward, he is highly critical of the manner in which the case was handled by NYPD authorities. He says as follows.
“Derrick Deacon spent 25 years in jail as a result of gross misconduct on the part of the detectives who investigated this case. They intimidated a witness and suppressed evidence.”
The fresh lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, alleges that Derrick Deacon he was made a “convenient scapegoat” by detectives and prosecutors seeking to close the Wynn murder case.
Even though Derrick is happy to be a free man, he regrets missing some of the most important years of his life. Several of his loved ones passed away while he was in jail.
“I was excited but sad at the same time. Sad, in a way, about the one person that I really care about, my mom, my baby’s mom and my aunts. They all died while I was in there. I missed seeing my kids grow up.”
Derrick Deacon now wishes to see his grandchildren go to college simply because he was not lucky enough to see his own children do the same. Derrick’s case is similar to that of Susan Marie Mellen, who was also set free last year after spending 17 years in prison.
[Image via Jesse Ward/NY Daily News]