Former I Love New York 2 contestant and aspiring rapper Jamal Trulove was awarded a $13.1 million settlement from the city of San Francisco. He spent more than six years in prison after police framed him for murder, The San Francisco Examiner reported Monday.
Trulove was charged with the 2007 murder of his friend Seu Kuka, who was fatally shot in a San Francisco housing project. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2010 and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison after an eyewitness identified him as the shooter.
Four years later, a state appeals court overturned his conviction citing prosecutorial misconduct. He was acquitted by a jury in 2015 after spending more than six years in prison. According to NPR, Trulove “endured a lot” while serving time in a maximum-security prison in Southern California.
In January 2016, he filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco and several members of the police department. He claimed his conviction “was a result of serious misconduct” and accused police of manipulating an eyewitness into giving false testimony during his trial.
According to The San Francisco Examiner, two of the officers involved in the investigation, Maureen D’Amico and Michael Johnson, were found to have deliberately fabricated and withheld evidence.
None of the officers involved in Trulove’s lawsuit were disciplined for their misconduct and have since retired from the police force, reports NPR.
In 2018, a jury awarded him $10 million in damages. The city attorney’s office agreed to pay an additional $4.5 million in lawyers before appealing the decision.
The city attorney’s office decided to drop the appeal after agreeing to a $13.1 million settlement. John Cote, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office said, “We feel this proposed settlement is the best way to resolve this case.”
According to the local newspaper, Cote said the city would have had to pay more than $15 million after interest. “Continuing to appeal could have increased that further, and there were significant legal hurdles to overcome. Settling this case is the prudent thing to do at this point.”
Trulove has reflected on what he’s learned from the experience.
“It’s just hitting me 4 years later on what happened to me after revisiting this footage. I’ve finally grown enough from the Trauma induced reality of what the project experience made me believe that was acceptable. There’s nothing I could do to make up for that time I missed,” he wrote on Instagram.
He shared similar sentiments on Twitter.
“And trust me I’m not done with them by a long shot!! After what these cowards of the law did to me, I will lit my freedom ring through every platform I get to show what injustice really looks like,” he wrote.
Trulove has gotten back to work following the tumultuous situation. He will appear in the film The Last Black Man in San Francisco when it hits theaters June 14.
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Jasmine Washington is a beauty-obsessed journalist by day and a trap music connoisseur by night. A lifelong New Yorker, she got her start as an intern at the now-defunct Juicy Magazine. Jasmine joined the EBONY.com team as a writer, penning daily stories on all things Black culture and entertainment.