Federal judge says police told 'crucial lies'

DETROIT (AP) — A young man who spent eight years in prison has cleared a key hurdle in a lawsuit against Detroit police who are accused of creating evidence against him in the murders of four people.

A judge last week declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Davontae Sanford. He was released from prison when a prosecutor said police drew a diagram of the crime scene in 2007, not Sanford, who was 14 years old at the time.

Separately, a hit man said he committed the murders, not the teen.

Sanford, who’s now 26, says his constitutional rights were violated. Federal Judge David Lawson says police told “crucial lies” to build a case against Sanford.

Lawson’s decision means the lawsuit against police will go to trial or be settled. One of the officers, James Tolbert, now is deputy chief in Highland Park.

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