CHICAGO (CBS)–Anthony McDaniels walked out of Stateville Prison Monday into the waiting arms of his sister on Monday, and offered a strong hug to his attorney, Joshua Tepfar.
How does it feel to have walked out of there?” Tucker asked. “Lots of emotion?”
“I don’t know yet–I’ll find out–it feels good,” McDaniels said.
The former laborer spent nearly 10 years behind bars after being convicted for gun possession. McDaniels says it was a set up after he refused to give Chicago Police officers a bribe they demanded in 2008.
Dressed in a casual clothing, McDaniels appeared calm as he walked out of the prison gates surrounded by a few family members and his legal counsel.
“They planted a gun on me and then charged me with having a weapon,” McDaniels told reporters.
Ronald Watts and officer Kallatt Mohammed both pleaded guilty to federal charges after they were caught taking $5,200 from an FBI informant. Both were part of a group of police officers who were accused of framing multiple suspects.
“These officers have a very long and disgraced history of planting drugs and guns on individuals who would not cooperate with them,” Tepfar said.
McDaniels is the 24th person convicted of crimes that have been dismissed because of accusations of wrongdoing by Watts and his crew.
McDaniels credited his attorney and his family for helping him survive his ordeal.
“I needed that support–I did,” McDaniels said.
McDaniels’s unjust prison sentence inspired his sister, Lashawn McDaniels, to pursue a law degree, his attorney said.
Standing next to her brother as the sun shone down on the concrete ground outside of the prison walls, Lashawn McDaniels expressed gratitude for the joyous moment.
“This is truly wonderful,” she said. “It’s a joy–he’s free.”