EAST CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - An unusual sight in any courtroom. A jail-garbed prisoner being uncuffed. For good. His name is Kenneth Blackshaw, imprisoned after an East Cleveland raid where they found drugs and cash.
It was the first of several unusual happenings, all centered around the conduct of three East Cleveland police officers, all convicted in federal court of framing Blackshaw, according to County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty.
"The officers actually targeted Mister Blackshaw," said McGinty.
McGinty moved to have the jury verdict that put Blackshaw in prison vacated because of the officers actions. Again unusual.
The dismissal is based on misstatements the detectives made about their entry into Blackshaw's home. Actually they were not misstatements, they were outright lies.
"They stole merchandise, cash, they also took alleged drugs, a good quantity, they created false police reports," McGinty told judge.
"I will dismiss this case with prejudice. The defendant is ordered released," announced Judge Maureen Clancy.
"I would like to extend my appreciation to the County Prosecutors Office, Mr. McGinty and Mr. Torres from the integrity unit," said Terry Gilbert, Blackshaw's attorney.
A defense attorney complimenting a prosecutor is also unusual.
Blackshaw is no angel, but prosecutor Jose Torres says there was no choice.
"The innocence may be questionable but there is no integrity in that conviction," said Jose Torres.
In the end it is a case about doing the right thing.
A lingering question is what about other cases the same officers investigated. Two tainted cases have been found already according to the Prosecutor "We are gonna seek dismissals in those cases we have. We have filed those." Ahead of the officers arrests McGinty says prosecution of other cases they did was held off.
The officers will be sentenced in April.
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