Vindicated Man Sues 16 Police Officers and City Employees for Falsifying Evidence
Sedrick Courtney, who spent 15 years in prison, is suing in federal court claiming that Tulsa officials fabricated evidence in an attempt to pin a 1995 robbery on him.
The victim in the robbery fιngered Courtney after having claimed to recognize his voice, but that was all the evidence police had.
“All the detectives had was a voice identification, and they knew that was not enough,” the 41-page complaint states, according to Courthouse News. “Faced with this reality, acting individually and in concert, the defendants then intentionally fabricated falsely inculpatory evidence against Mr. Courtney, irreparably and unconstitutionally tainting his criminal trial by distorting the only two pieces of evidence presented against him – faulty and false fair comparison evidence, and fabricated and improperly bolstered details of the victims’ identification.”
Courtney’s lawyer claims that he would not have been convicted had it not been for falsified evidence. The central allegation is against criminologist Carol Cox, who, according to the complaint, hid evidence which eliminated Courtney as a suspect.
“Among Mr. Courtney’s known standard, Cox now claimed to have discovered one, bleached red human hair fragment,” the complaint states. “This was false. Sedrick Courtney, who is an African American man with black to very dark brown hair, had never bleached or dyed his hair, and had no red or bleached red head hairs.”
Courtney also claims that the city’s lab director, Mark Boese, was let go for “incompetence, inefficiency, and gross neglect of duty.”
Courtney claims he was falsely told that evidence from the ski cap worn during the robbery had been destroyed.
“In reality, the ski caps, hairs and slides with hairs and fibers from the masks had not been destroyed, but were still in the possession of the city of Tulsa,” the complaint states.
Courtney was eventually cleared using DNA evidence in 2012.