New York City settles $13 million claim against NYPD for coercing false confession from 15-year-old

The City of New York agreed to a $13 million settlement with NSB client Tiffany Wilson for the loss of her brother, Sharrif Wilson, and for the more than 20 years he spent wrongfully incarcerated for the sickening triple murder and sexual assault of the mother, sister, and cousin of his best friend—crimes that DNA evidence has proven he did not commit.

In 1992, Mr. Wilson was a 15-year-old gay teen from the Bronx who had taken his first tentative steps out of the closet. While Mr. Wilson spent a night on the town with his best friend Antonio Yarbough, an unknown assailant stabbed Mr. Yarbough’s mother, 12-year-old sister, and 13-year-old cousin to death. After Mr. Yarbough found their partially undressed bodies and called the police, detectives from Coney Island’s notorious 60th Precinct seized upon Mr. Wilson and Mr. Yarbough as their primary suspects. The detectives coerced Mr. Wilson, a susceptible teenager who had not slept in over 24 hours, into giving a false confession implicating himself and Mr. Yarbough in the murders. NSB’s depositions of the detectives revealed that crucial details of Mr. Wilson’s confession were both false and fed to him by the police. The depositions also suggested that NYPD officers fabricated evidence by placing steak knives at the crime scene that they later claimed were the murder weapons. Faced with the near certainty of a catastrophic verdict, New York City settled with Ms. Wilson well before the close of discovery.

NSB partners Nick Brustin and Emma Freudenberger and Cochran Fellows Jules Torti and Rick Sawyer, along with co-counsel Adam Perlmutter of Perlmutter & McGuinness, P.C., represented Ms. Wilson.

N.Y. Daily News coverage here

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