Fox Files: Lawsuit Claims Officer Lies Convicted Innocent Man

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(KTVI)-- A new civil lawsuit claims St. Louis Police lied to put an innocent man in prison.  This report contains part of the evidence, which includes a police dispatch recording.  Investigative reporter Chris Hayes shows you how the recording led a Judge to releasing the convict.

Four years ago, a jury convicted Douglas Hervey for stealing a car.  The jurors relied almost solely on the testimony of two St. Louis City Police Officers.

Hervey told me, “All the way since the day I was arrested, I told these officers, ‘I’m not good for this.  I don’t know why you guys are doing this.’”

The Courts recently agreed he wasn’t good for it, based on a police dispatch tape that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Attorneys Bevis Schock and Joel Schwartz are now suing.

Schwartz said, “These cops are absolutely, positively lying.”  He added, “I’m not saying it.  This tape is saying it.  They had a stolen car, they picked some random individual and that random individual served three and a half years for that.”

On the stand at Hervey’s trial, a police officer said "I kept an eye on vehicle that whole time" to an ally near Rolla Street in the Ville. Yet the police dispatch recording appears to contradict that.

On the police dispatch recording you could hear an officer say, “We're going to lose an eye on it.”

The officer even testified he ordered Douglas Hervey out of the car and Hervey ran to a house.  Now read the following portion of the dispatch recording.

“Both the doors are open on it now.  I didn’t turn down yet.  I don’t know if anybody’s even in it right now.  Looks like it's abandoned.”
After Hervey had already served 3 1/2 years Judge Jack Garvey listened to the newly discovered audio and then ordered Hervey released immediately.

This happened last summer.  The details are just coming out now because of the Schwartz and Schock’s civil lawsuit.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement it was “…previously made aware of these allegations, and after reviewing the relevant information, found no wrongdoing on the part of any police personnel.  The department intends to vigorously defend itself against the allegations in this lawsuit.”

Hervey walked outside of the Courthouse in borrowed clothes and jail flats. He did not want anyone to pick him up, so he walked to Bellefontaine Neighbors.  He didn't care how long it. He was free.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce added the following statement regarding the officer’s alleged conduct and whether or not to recharge Hervey.  “It would be inappropriate for us to discuss plans on whether anyone will be charged related to this matter, except to say that if charges are appropriate under the law and there is evidence available, they will be filed.”

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