UNITED STATES NEWS

Man convicted of Chicago murder based on blind witness’ testimony sues city, police

May 27, 2024, 12:30 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man convicted of murder based in part on testimony from a legally blind eyewitness is suing the city and the police department.

A judge convicted Darien Harris in 2014 in connection with a fatal shooting at a South Side gas station in 2011. He was 12 years into a 76-year prison sentence when he was freed in December after The Exoneration Project showed that the eyewitness had advanced glaucoma and lied about his eyesight issues. Harris was 30 years old when he went free.

Harris filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in April alleging police fabricated evidence and coerced witnesses into making false statements, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. He told the newspaper that he is still struggling to put his life back together.

“I don’t have any financial help. I’m still (treated like) a felon, so I can’t get a good job. It’s hard for me to get into school,” he said. “I’ve been so lost. … I feel like they took a piece of me that is hard for me to get back.”

A message The Associated Press left on the city’s Law Department main line seeking comment Monday wasn’t immediately returned. The department provides attorneys for the city, its departments and its employees.

Harris was an 18-year-old high school senior when he was arrested. The legally blind eyewitness picked Harris out of a police lineup and identified him in court. The eyewitness testified that he was riding his motorized scooter near the gas station when he heard gunshots and saw a person aiming a handgun. He also added that the shooter bumped into him.

Harris’ trial attorney asked the witness if his diabetes affected his vision. He said yes but denied he had vision problems. But the man’s doctor deemed him legally blind nine years before the incident, court records show.

A gas station attendant also testified that Harris wasn’t the shooter.

The Exoneration Project has helped clear more than 200 people since 2009, including a dozen in Chicago’s Cook County in 2023 alone.

United States News

This photo provided by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows a monolith near Gass Peak, Ne...

Associated Press

Gleaming monolith pops up in Nevada desert, the latest in a series of quickly vanishing structures

Jutting out of the rocks in a remote mountain range near Las Vegas, the monolith's reflective surface imitates the vast desert landscape surrounding the mountain peak where it has been erected.

1 hour ago

Associated Press

California man charged with killing gay college student takes the stand

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California man charged with killing a gay University of Pennsylvania student in an alleged hate crime six years ago testified Tuesday about how the two men connected on social media and went to a park. It was the last time the victim was seen. Samuel Woodward, 26, took the […]

3 hours ago

President Joe Biden turns to the others on the dais after speaking during an event marking the 12th...

Associated Press

Half a million immigrants could eventually get US citizenship under a sweeping new plan from Biden

President Joe Biden ordered expansive election-year action Tuesday to offer potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of immigrants without legal status in the U.S.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Alaska did not provide accessible voting for those with disabilities, US Justice Department alleges

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act for not providing accessible machines for in-person voting, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday. The state was also faulted for selecting inaccessible polling places and operating a state elections website that can’t be accessed by everyone. The department informed […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

New York’s ‘equal rights’ constitutional amendment restored to ballot by appeals court

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A proposed amendment to New York’s constitution barring discrimination based on “gender identity” and “pregnancy outcomes” was restored to the November election ballot Tuesday by a state appeals court. In a short decision, a panel of midlevel appellate judges overturned a May decision by an upstate judge to strike the proposed […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Texas megachurch pastor resigns after woman says he sexually abused her in the 1980s

DALLAS (AP) — The pastor of a Texas megachurch has resigned after a woman said he had sexually abused her on multiple occasions in the 1980s, beginning when she was 12. Gateway Church’s board of elders said in a statement Tuesday that they’d accepted the resignation of Robert Morris, the church’s senior pastor and founder. […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Man convicted of Chicago murder based on blind witness’ testimony sues city, police