Wrongfully jailed Uniondale man wins $175K in damages

A Uniondale man who was wrongfully jailed by Nassau police was awarded $175,000 in damages by a federal jury Monday. Raheem Crews, 29, was jailed

Raheem Crews, 29, was jailed for four months after being accused of committing an armed robbery in Roosevelt. At the time of the armed robbery, he was already in jail for a separate crime.

Raheem Crews, 29, was jailed for four months after being accused of committing an armed robbery in Roosevelt. At the time of the armed robbery, he was already in jail for a separate crime. (3/23/15)

UNIONDALE - A Uniondale man who was wrongfully jailed by Nassau police was awarded $175,000 in damages by a federal jury Monday.

Raheem Crews, 29, was jailed for four months after being accused of committing an armed robbery in Roosevelt. At the time of the armed robbery, he was already in jail for a separate crime.

Crews sued Nassau County, the police department and lead detective Nicholas Lemma over claims they intentionally ignored the evidence and let him languish in jail.

Crews' attorney, Fred Brewington, says Lemma admitted in a pretrial deposition that after finding out through a computer search that Crews was in jail at the time of the robbery, he kept the information to himself.

“Young men such as Raheem Crews are not trash, you can't just forget about them,” said Brewington.

The jury found Crews was maliciously prosecuted by Lemma. Crews says the verdict is not only a victory for himself, but for all men of color in his community.

Crews says Lemma apologized to him after the verdict was read. He says the apology was long overdue but appreciated.

A criminal case is pending against Lemma, who faces charges including official misconduct.

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