WOODBURY - Opening arguments got underway Tuesday in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Nassau County and the police department.
Raheem Crews, now 28, spent more than four months in jail in 2005. He was charged with participating in a knifepoint robbery of a 14-year-old. However, Crews was able to prove that at the time of the crime he was in jail on a separate offense.
As part of the suit, Crews' lawyer claims the Nassau detective on the case, Nicholas Lemma, intentionally and maliciously ignored the information that would have exonerated his client. In court, Lemma's attorney admitted that mistakes were made, but claimed they were not malicious or intentional.
Another Nassau detective named in the lawsuit is accused of using excessive force when placing Crews into custody. Nassau County was also included for allegedly not adequately training its detectives on how to properly handle evidence. The lawyer representing the other detective says there was no proof that excessive force was used, and says the county did nothing wrong.
Crews, who is a father of two, says he just wants his named cleared.