Family of acquitted man files civil rights lawsuit

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The family of a man acquitted of murder charges is filing a federal lawsuit against the city of Mount Vernon, its police department and Westchester County prosecutors, accusing the parties of violating his civil rights. The family of a man acquitted of murder charges is filing a federal lawsuit against the city of Mount Vernon, its police department and Westchester County prosecutors, accusing the parties of violating his civil rights.
MOUNT VERNON -

The family of a man acquitted of murder charges is filing a federal lawsuit against the city of Mount Vernon, its police department and Westchester County prosecutors, accusing the parties of violating his civil rights by prosecuting him despite being aware of his innocence.

In 2016, police arrested Rahsi McClean, 27, five years after the shooting death of Gloria Nartley on South 12th Avenue. She was walking home when a stray bullet struck her in the head, according to investigators.

"They arrested my client without any probable cause," his lawyer says. "They had witnesses who lied, and they know they lied."

McClean's lawyers and relatives say investigators knew he was innocent all along and pressed charges anyway.

"I want to see changes in the justice system, because black men go through this every day," says Susan McClean.

Mount Vernon police had acknowledged mistakes in the case but maintain that the evidence points toward McClean as the shooter.

Deputy Chief Roy Hastings says the department will respect the jury's verdict, but he denies that the charges were trumped up.

"He beat the case on a technicality," Hastings says.

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