CLEVELAND (WJW) — Three Cleveland men have reportedly reached an $18 million settlement in a lawsuit against the City of Cleveland and former detectives.
According to a press release from attorneys Friedman and Gilbert, the lawsuit was for police misconduct and wrongful imprisonment. They said it puts an end to a 45-year “nightmare.”
According to the release, Kwame Ajamu, formerly known as Ronnie Bridgeman; Wiley Bridgeman; and, Ricky Jackson were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for a combined 100-plus years for “a murder they did not commit.”
“No amount of money can make up for what they went through,” said Terry Gilbert, attorney for the three men. “It’s incomprehensible. They want to move on with their lives and their families.”
“I endured 45 years of pain and suffering,” Ajamu said Friday, as tears flowed down his face. “I was 17 and sentenced to die.” Ajamu thanked his attorneys and he cried. “Thank you so much,” he said.
The men were convicted on the testimony of a witness who was 12 years old in 1975 at the time of the murder. That witness, Edward Vernon, has since recanted, saying he was pressured by police into making the identifications.
All three men were exonerated in 2014.