Case tossed: ‘Feels like for last 16 months I’ve been oppressed for something I didn’t do’
BALTIMORE (WBFF) – There’s more fallout from the seven Baltimore police officers federally indicted on charges of racketeering and fraud.
On Thursday a man serving an eight-year sentence was released after his conviction was overturned. His case involved three of the seven officers. Now, 31-year-old Ivan Potts says he feels “blessed to be free.”
He's claimed he was innocent since his arrest, but a jury convicted him last month at his trial on gun charges. His attorney Todd Oppenheim, with the Baltimore Office of the Public Defender, says Potts was out of legal options until the officers were indicted.
"He's been in jail for 589 days. We had a trial in March of 2016. In the trial, the main witnesses for the State were three police officers who were recently indicted. They're in jail now," Oppenheim says.
And Potts is free after almost two years of imprisonment.
"I'm a free man, free man," Potts said as he walked out of the Baltimore City Correctional Center Thursday morning.
Potts is the third person to have a conviction overturned after the officers were indicted in February.
"It feels like for the last 16 months I've been oppressed for something I didn't do," Potts says.
Potts is a felon, and says police planted a gun on him during his arrest.
"I was just walking to the store and they just jumped out on me and one thing led to another," he says.
"These were the three people there when he was arrested and they all testified at trial," Oppenheim says it was his word against theirs.
Potts was sentenced to eight years. His attorney says the officers' indictments are the only reason Potts isn't behind bars for years to come.
"The jury's verdict is based on hearing their evidence. If they knew about who they really were, if they knew about the stuff that was alleged in the indictments, we're certain the outcome would have been different," Oppenheim says.
According to the State's Attorney's Office, as of April 13th, prosecutors are currently working to vacate 22 other convictions. They've also already dropped 49 cases involving the officers.
"I just feel as though their day will come in court just like my day came in court," Potts says. "And everything will be settled in court."