Detroit Man Wrongly Imprisoned for 25 Years, Claims in New Lawsuit That Police Deliberately Set Him Up to Take the Fall

AP Images
AP Images

Doctored evidence caused one Detroit man to serve 25 years in prison for a murder. Now that man, 51-year-old Desmond Ricks, is filing a lawsuit seeking more than $100 million, claiming that officers deliberately framed him by switching out bullets to convict him.


According to the Associated Press, Ricks was released from prison in May after new tests supported his assertion that Detroit police purposely pinned a murder on him in 1992.

Ricks was the unfortunate witness in the fatal shooting of his friend Gerry Bennett and has long maintained that he had nothing to do with Bennett’s death. Nonetheless, police arrested him and seized a gun that belonged to his mother, and he was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder.

The new report notes that an analysis of the two bullets that were removed from the victim, which were still in police storage, proved that they did not match the gun that was presented during the case as the murder weapon. Prosecutors then agreed to drop the case.

But, you know, nothing is ever fair in the justice system, and so prosecutors actually said that the statute of limitations would not permit them to investigate the officers who were involved in Ricks’ wrongful arrest.

“Since the officers cannot be put in prison, this is the only way to begin to right a horrific misconduct and the harm to our criminal-justice system,” Ricks’ attorney, Wolfgang Mueller, said of the lawsuit.


David Townshend, an expert who testified at Ricks’ original trial, now says that the bullets removed from the victim were not the ones that he examined back in 1992. He now believes that the bullets given to him were taken from Ricks’ mother’s gun and not from Bennett’s body.

“It’s evil,” Mueller added. “I can’t picture how a police officer who is sworn to uphold the law and be objective could go to sleep at night.”


Indeed, there is a special kind of evil that reeks in this situation. And people wonder why black people historically mistrust police? This man lost half his life over this shit.

Anyway, Rick’s lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday, calls out the city of Detroit and two retired officers as defendants. Rick’s two daughters are also plaintiffs in the case.


“It’s hell,” Ricks said of prison. “It’s not a good place. It’s the most abnormal environment ever created on Earth.”

Read more at the New York Post.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi



This right here is why I love reading The Root. And also why I hate reading The Root. We need to know about these things. But damn is this depressing. We all know this kind of thing happens, so it’s no surprise, but it’s still depressing as hell.

I’m glad he’s out and I hope he gets every cent he’s asking for.

I can’t imagine losing that much of my life. More importantly, I can’t imagine missing out on that much of my daughter’s life. He can’t ever get that back.