Defendant freed after 21 years sues Chicago police

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CHICAGO (AP) — A man released last year after spending 21 years in prison for murder accuses Chicago police in a lawsuit of manipulating a witness who later recanted.

CHICAGO (AP) — A man released last year after spending 21 years in prison for murder accuses Chicago police in a lawsuit of manipulating a witness who later recanted.

Attorney Locke Bowman, in announcing the lawsuit Thursday, said Jacques Rivera suffered a grave injustice at the hands of Chicago police.

Rivera received an 80-year sentence when convicted in August 1988 in the death of 16-year-old Chicagoan Felix Valentin.

Orlando Lopez was 13-years-old when he testified he watched Rivera shoot a rival gang member. Lopez recanted and Judge Neera Walsh ruled in September she believed him. Prosecutors dropped the charges against Valentin.

The lawsuit contends Lopez didn’t identify anyone as Valentin’s assailant during a line-up that included Rivera, and detectives "falsified records" to indicate no line-up occurred.

There’s no immediate comment from Chicago officials.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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