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Wrongfully convicted man sues city for $75M after 15 years in prison

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 10/11/2018 Marc Daalder

Aaron Salter is shown in an undated booking photo provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections. © Michigan Department of Corrections) Aaron Salter is shown in an undated booking photo provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections. Aaron Salter spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Now, he's suing the city of Detroit and the detective who landed him there.

Just two months after the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office determined Salter did not kill Willie "Tabboo" Thomas in a 2003 shooting, Salter has retained a Farmington Hills law firm and filed a lawsuit seeking $75 million from the city and DPD Detective Donald Olsen.

According to the suit, Olsen showed a victim of the shooting that killed Thomas a picture of Salter and asked if he was the shooter, despite the fact that Salter did not match the victim's earlier description.

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The lawsuit contends that Salter was convicted based on "fabricated evidence" and witness testimony "based upon the unconstitutionally suggestive photo identification procedure used by Olsen."

Salter was 21 when he was convicted in December 2003. He was released Aug. 15, his 36th birthday.

When Salter's conviction was voided, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said: "The system failed him. Nothing I can say will bring back the years of his life spent in prison. Justice is truly being served today. We will recommend to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office that Mr. Salter receive wrongful conviction compensation. We sincerely wish him well."

The Free Press was unable contact Olsen or his legal representation.

The city of Detroit's law department was not available for comment.

Contact reporter Marc Daalder at mdaalder@freepress.com or on Twitter at @marcdaalder.

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