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Black Teen Falsely Accused of Murdering Rabbi Sues Police

Charles spent almost a year in jail before prosecutors dropped the charges against him

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A Black Florida teen accused of murdering a rabbi has filed a wrongful arrest lawsuit against the Miami-Dade Police Department, saying officers kept him in jail despite having evidence that he was innocent.

Deandre Charles, 18, filed a federal lawsuit two weeks ago against Miami-Dade police and Michael Brajdic, the lead homicide detective on the case.

Charles spent almost a year in jail before prosecutors dropped the charges against him, according to the Miami Herald.

“It was evident right away that Deandre was not responsible or involved with the unfortunate death of Rabbi Raksin,” said Adam Goodman, Charles’ attorney. “During the discovery process, it became clear that other suspects were involved, and ignored by MDPD and the State Attorney’s Office.”

He added, “The lack of evidence against Deandre was alarming, and he spent almost a year of his high school life in jail due to this travesty.”

In August 2014, Charles was accused of shooting and killing Rabbi Joseph Raksin during a robbery attempt gone wrong. Raksin, who was visiting Miami from Brooklyn, New York, was shot as he was walking to a synagogue.

Police said in 2015 that Charles’ DNA was found on the murder weapon and getaway vehicle, and that cell phone records placed him near the scene of the crime, but the case fell apart due to lack of evidence.

The lawsuit alleges Bradjic “turned a blind eye” to other men that may have been involved in the crime, and that the Miami-Dade Police Department pushed the case through quickly because officials were “so hellbent on closing the murder investigation with an arrest.”

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