A Philadelphia police officer has been found liable in a 2011 wrongful arrest case. An innocent man who spent three years in jail awaiting trial will receive $10 million from the city.
Officer Ryan Waltman arrested Khanefah Boozer after Waltman charged Boozer with shooting a gun at the officer. However, he could not afford bail after the arrest. Therefore, Boozer spent the time between his arrest and his trial in jail, according to his attorney Robert J. Levant.
Levant will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the civil verdict. Officials believe it to be the biggest finding against a city officer ever.
Larry Krasner, a spokesman for District Attorney, said their office would review the ruling. After all, it it may relate to Waltman’s testimony in other cases.
“If it’s determined that the officer engaged in misconduct, we will comply with our constitutional obligation to disclose that information to defense counsel,” spokesman Ben Waxman said.
Philadelphia Police Retain Officer
Waltman remains on the force as an officer. His salary was $74,334 in 2017, and he earned an additional $13,937 in overtime.
The court eventually acquitted Boozer in his criminal trial. This happened when another man testified that he was the one who fired a gun into the air during the original incident in 2011, the press advisory said.
“Khanefah Boozer maintained throughout his ordeal that other individuals had fired a gun out of a car (shooting up in the air) and gave police their names and other identifying information. Police failed to investigate those individuals and did not recover a gun, shell casing or bullet,” the advisory said. “After nothing was recovered, the officer amended his police report to note that our client had been standing next to another unknown African American male who fled the scene after the shot was fired. Mr. Boozer was acquitted following a jury trial in 2014 in which individuals (including the man who fired the gun into the air) testified in court, corroborating his version of the events.”
A spokesman for the city said they plan to appeal. Attorneys for the City of Philadelphia will represent Waltman.