Elon Wilson of Washington, DC spent almost two years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Officer Jonathan Freitag claimed he wanted to pull Wilson’s car over because of illegally tinted windows. The officer said Wilson failed to stop his car and crossed the yellow line. The officer said there was “odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle”. He conducted a search and found 450 OxyContin tablets and two handguns in the glove compartment. Wilson repeatedly stated that the weapons and drugs did not belong to him, but prosecutors threatened him with a 10-year sentence for distribution and possession of weapons and drugs. Wilson took a plea deal and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. He started serving his sentence in 2019.
Wilson’s lawyer reviewed footage of the arrest and found that the defendant did not cross the yellow line, he stopped the officer’s signal, and the windows of his car were not illegally tinted.
In April 2021, Wilson was released from prison. In October 2021, he agreed to $390,000 settlement of the federal lawsuit against Fairfax County. The officer, who arrested Wilson, is under investigation.
MASS MEDIA ABOUT THE CASE:
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Daniel E. Ortiz said “Freitag’s fabricated grounds for the stop, police report, and warrant made under oath fundamentally tampered with the judicial machinery and subverted the integrity of the court itself.”
The Washington Post
“Unconstitutional stop after unconstitutional stop,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said about Freitag. “Potentially racial biased motive and racial disparate impacts, and it was just systemic.”
The initiative group has requested the clarification from US President Joseph Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland. The initiative group believes it is important to fight against police brutality and, if necessary, will provide legal and financial assistance to the victim.