San Francisco Man Framed by Police Wins $10 Million Damages

A San Francisco man who spent six years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned won $10 million in damages from a federal court Friday, local media reported.

Jamal Trulove was imprisoned for a 2007 murder on Sunnydale Housing Estate, and had accused four police officers of framing him.

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Jamal Trulove VH1

On Friday, a jury in Oakland found that homicide detectives Michael Johnson and Maureen D'Amico had fabricated evidence against Trulove and withheld other evidence that could have helped him, SFGate.com reported.

Their co-defendants, police officers Robert McMillan and John Evans, were not found guilty of any wrongdoing, according to the outlet.

Lawyers for Trulove said he was in tears after the verdict.

"It's about time," said Kate Chatfield, a lawyer on his defence team. "Justice is not (merely) being acquitted for a crime you did not do. This was finally justice."

In July 2007, Seu Kuka was killed after being shot in the back on the estate.

A witness testified that she saw Trulove pursuing Kuka and shooting him, confirming to police her initial identification after seeing Trulove's appearance on VH1 reality TV show I Love New York 2.

Trulove was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the killing.

In 2014 a state appeals court overturned the conviction, ruling that prosecutors had lied to the jury when they said that the witness had been threatened and risked her life coming forward.

In a 2015 retrial, Trulove's conviction was quashed, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.

In a lawsuit launched against the city, he accused police of pressurising witnesses to identify him.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled in February that Trulove's case against the city should go to trial.

Trulove's lawyers said D'Amico showed the witness a single photo of Trulove rather than the usual police practice of presenting photos of different people and asking the witness to identify the perpetrator, while Johnson showed the same witness a photo array consisting of Trulove and others she had already dismissed as being the shooter.

The city denied that the officers were guilty of misconduct, and claimed their actions did not effect the investigation into the murder. The city is liable for the damages.