Wrongly Accused Brooklyn Man Spends 18 Days At Rikers

Surveillance Cams Ultimately Give Shane Rhooms His Life Back

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Imagine being wrongly accused and jailed for it.

That’s exactly what happened to a Brooklyn man who gained his freedom only after technology backed up his story.

CBS 2’s Jay Dow spoke Wednesday with a man who spent 18 days in Rikers Island jail.

After spending almost three weeks behind bars, Shane Rhooms said he has a new appreciation for his freedom.

“Prison is not for me. It wasn’t built for me,” Rhooms said.

The 22-year-old Brooklyn resident was accused of firing several shots at three police officers who allegedly caught him smoking marijuana in the early morning hours of Sept. 6, in Flatbush. Rhooms did not run.

“The reason I turned myself in, because I don’t know what’s going on,” Rhooms said.

At the time Rhooms was allegedly in Brooklyn shooting at New York City Police officers he said he was actually at Webster Hall in Manhattan, attending a reggae concert with his cousin.

Rhoom’s family hired attorney Sam Gregory, who got his hand on proof he needed from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, which was investigating the case — Webster Hall surveillance video, which showed Rhooms and his cousin in the club.

Gregory then got his client’s cell phone records, which show calls that were placed through cell towers in Manhattan at the time police said he was breaking the law in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn DA’s Office ultimately dismissed the case, but not before Rhooms spent those weeks at Rikers, facing a maximum penalty of life in prison.

“When you make a mistake, say I made a mistake,” Gregory said. “He’s got his life back.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the Department still stands by the three cops who identified Rhooms as the shooter, one of whom arrested the young man for fireworks possession over July 4 weekend.

“I’m relieved that I’m off the case, but at the same time I’m still grieving because at the same time I was going through this process, my grandma actually passed and I didn’t get to go to her funeral,” Rhooms said.

Rhooms is now planning to file a civil suit against the NYPD.

To be clear, despite the NYPD’s insistence that they had the right man, the criminal case against Rhooms has been officially dismissed by the Brooklyn DA’s Office.

  • man ray

    kelly is liar cop

  • The Good Samaritan

    Everyone is making this a race issue. People get wrongfully accused of crimes daily.

    He has no right to sue. If Mr. Rhoom was smoking pot that is a crime. He turned himself in. Unfortunately it turned into three weeks but he is out now.

    Wearing a $500 suit is not gonna buy you sympathy Mr. Rhoom.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

    • Read it Right

      Hey you stupid, can you read ? This is a young black kid accused of smoking marijuana and shot at police when they “caught” him. IT WAS NOT HIM !
      I’m sure your sorry ass would like to be compensated if you spent three weeks in a cell with nasty stink men, unless you’d take pleasure in that.

  • mipspc

    WHy 3 weeks. Why didn’t the police-detectives get the video and phone records the first day. DUHH..now the real perpetrator who fires on thier own (police) has a 3 week free bee. Does life and a “box of chocolate” have any meaning here???

  • Just Asking

    Why was Mr. Rhooms not granted bail? Was it unaffordable? Was he a flight risk? If he’s accused of firing at the Police, was a gun recovered with his prints? These are the basic items which should be in this type of story. So due to the fact that it isn’t, we’re all left wondering why the NYPD could insist that a random black guy is held in jail for 18 days despite no evidence, except for the Cops “guarantee” that it was him. Just ridiculous. And people wonder why so many people sue and why NYC has paid $1B in settlements since Bloomberg took over. Ray Kelly is a disgrace.

  • Sgeo

    This is why eyewitness evidence used to identify one person over another should be ignored and thrown out.

  • aldous huxley

    What a nightmare for this poor guy. And surprise, surprise … Ray Kelly stands behind the NYPD that they had the right guy … they have proof this guy is innocent, the DA drops the case, but the NYPD still say he’s the guy. How insane is that?!?

    This goes on quite a bit – more than we typically hear about. Check out author Laura Caldwell. Just heard a compelling interview with this attorney/author. A story along these lines, but MUCH more extreme.

  • Your stench stinks

    Hopefully it will be for murdering you..after all like you said “he is black”.

  • Toni Benedict

    It’s DISGUSTING that the Police cannot admit they were wrong…sad too!

  • DanTe

    Bloomberg’s Storm Troopers got caught in a lie? Say it isn’t so.

    And the racial cleansing continues…

    Bloomberg and Hitler both unilaterally broke the law on term limits and extended their terms due to an “emergency”.

    Bloomberg and Hitler both like to dictate what healthy activity or food the peons need to do or eat. Hitler was a vegetarian too.

    Bloomberg and Hitler both have grand automobile/people mover plans. The Autoban and the massive lane changes in NYC.

    Bloomberg and Hitler both hates it when civilians are allowed to own guns. Gee, I wonder why they both like a helpless citizenry.

    Bloomberg and Hitler both use “emergencies” to increase their special police’s powers. NYC’s SS even perform overseas “investigations”, like NYC is a wholly separate little dictatoriate.

    Bloomberg and Hitler both just love to control how our youths are “educated”.

    Bloomberg and Hitler people both wear monochrome colored shirts in a uniform manner. (While it’s true, this is placed here more so that the fascists can have something to respond to.)

    I wonder what “emergency” will occur for Bloomberg to break the term limit on the Presidency?

    • Ryan

      DanTe – all I can say is too bad Hitler didn’t get a hold of the Chinese as well…mabye we still have hope for Bloomberg

      • DanTe

        What are you babbling about, nathan?

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