Brooklyn man cleared after wrongly accused

December 22, 2010 3:19:09 PM PST
A Brooklyn man faced life in prison for the attempted murder of three NYPD officers.

But now, he's free thanks to videotape and other evidence that proved he wasn't at the scene of the crime.

"It wasn't me, I wasn't there," Shane Rhooms said.

Shane Rhooms told Eyewitness News that he's just grateful a judge agreed.

The 22-year-old was just cleared of attempted murder charges after spending 18 days at Rikers.

He had been accused of shooting at three police officers on Lenox Road in Brooklyn back in September.

"I don't own a gun, never bought a gun, never held a gun in my life, not that type, I never fired a gun in my life," Rhooms said.

In fact, on the night in question Shane had said he was at Webster Hall in the East Village for a reggae concert.

After viewing surveillance video, prosecutors agreed.

Shane could be seen entering just before midnight, and phone records also show calls from Shane's cell phone in Manhattan during the exact time the shooting took place.

So why did cops zero-in on Shane?

Well his lawyer says back on July 4th, Shane was busted for shooting off illegal fireworks on the same street and a photo from that arrest was in their system.

"The sergeant picked out Shane Rhooms' photograph which began the process of misidentification," said Sam Gregory, Rhooms' defense attorney.

Shane says it got worse and worse.

"Actually they went to my house and kicked my door off, they went to my sister's house and kicked her door off," Rhooms said.

Shane also says there was a lineup, in which he stood out.

"All the guys there were much older than me, so the lineup to me wasn't fair, I was like, this lineup doesn't make any sense," Rhooms said.

Meanwhile, Wednesday the city's police commissioner defended that lineup, which led to Shane's arrest.

"The officers involved in that shooting stand by their identification," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

As Shane just remains grateful that he made it through his ordeal, his experience was painful, but his name is now cleared.

"I don't give trouble, I always look to help other people," Rhooms said.

"There comes a point where you just have to say, 'You know what, we made an error, we got the wrong guy'," Gregory said.

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