Zoe tha Roasta Awarded $300K After Cops Planted Gun on Him
Oakland rapper Zoe tha Roasta was awarded $300,000 Thursday (Feb. 17) after being wrongfully accused and incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit. The City of Oakland agreed to settle the suit between the rapper, born Lorenzo Hall, after former Oakland Police officer Ramon Alcantar, was accused of planting a gun on the parolee resulting in his incarceration for two years.
Last October, San Francisco U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney ruled that Hall would receive $100,000 in general damages plus an additional $75,000 in punitive damages. In a 5-3 vote the local City Council ruled that Hall's entire settlement would include the $175,000 plus attorney's fees.
"This was an important case for holding the police officers accountable for their misconduct," Hall's attorney, John Burris, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Because Mr. Hall has a criminal record, the officers claimed a weapon found in a car was his when the evidence was clear that the gun belonged to someone else."
The incident in question took place in 2006, when Hall, who was attending a wake for his aunt, was arrested by Alcantar for numerous weapon related offenses, including illegal possession of a firearm. According to police, Hall not only fit the description provided by an unidentified informant, but was believed to be carrying a loaded .40 caliber handgun.
Burris argued that the gun actually belonged to another citizen, and was hidden in a parked car in the nearby vicinity. Hall was taken into custody, spending four months behind bars before posting bail. Under California's three strikes rule, which increases penalties for third time offenders, prosecutors asked for Hall's bail to be increased, and the case was taken to trial. Hall spent 18 months behind bars before the case was dropped in the summer of 2008. Alcantar later retired from the police department, it was not revealed whether or not he stepped down as a result of the case.
The Oakland Police Department denies wrongdoing in the incident and maintains that Alcantar had the right to detain Hall due to information provided from the informant.
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