Leroy Gonzalez says that he spent over two years in jail after he was framed by crooked cops and wrongfully convicted of a drug charge. While Gonzalez sat in jail, the officers that arrested him continued their spree of corruption until it eventually caught up with them, resulting in a corruption investigation.
Unsurprisingly, after being investigated by their own agency, the officers were acquitted and allowed to return to their jobs in July of 2015. However, their luck ran out when one of the officers in question, Officer Jeffrey Walker ended up getting caught in a drug-related robbery. In court, Walker quickly turned on his partners, and admitted that officers Thomas Liciardello, Michael Spicer and Perry Betts regularly planted evidence and framed innocent people.
When Gonzalez learned that the officers who framed him were under suspicion of corruption, he filed his own lawsuit in relation to his two years spent behind bars.
In the lawsuit, Gonzalez says that the officers “unlawfully and maliciously planted numerous items of false evidence in [his] vicinity to create the illusion of probable cause [and] justify their grossly illegal police misconduct.”
The lawsuit goes on to say that the officers participated in “concealment, fraud, and subterfuge to prevent the relevant and truthful facts of [his] arrest from being discovered until August 7, 2015.”
Gonzalez says that he was sitting alone in his car one night when he was approached by the officers and accused of selling drugs. After searching his vehicle without probable cause or a warrant, the officers found nothing, but according to Gonzalez, they threw him to the ground and handcuffed him anyway, planting evidence in his vehicle to justify taking him in for an arrest.
After Gonzalez spent two years in jail he filed an appeal and was able to get all of the charges against him dropped. The charges were dropped “due, in large part, to the admissions of police misconduct by former Police Officer Jeffrey Walker and [Pennsylvania’s] own investigation into the matter.”
In the lawsuit, Gonzalez is seeking compensation for his time spent in jail as well as unspecified damages for the assault and violation of privacy that came from the false arrest and imprisonment.
In addition to the case of Gonzalez, the revelations about these corrupt officers have prompted the overturn of nearly 450 drug convictions in the city of Philadelphia.
After the rulings, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond ordered the officers involved to stay away from the former defendants who have brought lawsuits against them.