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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wrongly Imprisoned Man Gets $340,000.00

Autistic Brooklyn man, wrongly imprisoned after coerced slay confession, gets $340G settlement
The New York Daily News by Kerry Burke and John Marzulli - November 25, 2009

The city will pay $340,000 to an autistic Brooklyn man railroaded by NYPD detectives into falsely confessing to murdering his sister. Ozem Goldwire spent more than a year in prison for the January 2006 slaying of his sister, Sherika, before he was exonerated by prosecutors in the Brooklyn district attorney's office. "This was a terrible, terrible injustice," said lawyer Gerald Allen, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of Goldwire in Brooklyn Federal Court. Goldwire was subjected to 21 hours of interrogation at the 73rd Precinct by detectives who screamed, cursed and shoved him. They also accused him of having sex with his sister, according to the suit. Warned that he wouldn't be released if he did not confess, Goldwire wrote a statement claiming he strangled his sister because she refused to lower the volume on the TV. A psychologist who examined the 31-year-old maintenance man at the request of prosecutors concluded that he was highly vulnerable to suggestion and eager to please the detectives. Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach threw out the charges against Goldwire, describing the circumstances as "the perfect storm for false confession." Mom Essie Goldwire said Tuesday she gave cops information about a local junkie she suspects in her daughter's slaying, which is still unsolved. "They thought I was just gathering evidence to clear my son. That was four years ago and I never heard from them again," she said. The settlement admits no wrongdoing on the part of Detectives Nancy Malota, Christopher Scandole and Matthew Collins. "As Mr. Goldwire had confessed to the murder, we believe that the NYPD and DA's office acted appropriately. This is an unfortunate situation, and we believe the settlement is in the best interest of all parties," said a spokeswoman for the city law department. Malota was also a defendant in a 2004 false-arrest suit filed by James Brown of Brooklyn, who spent nine months in jail for attempted murder before the charges were dismissed. Brown received a $40,000 settlement from the city.

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