CONCORD, N.C. (WJZY) – Lawyers for a Black man who was falsely accused of raping a white woman have filed a formal lawsuit against the City of Concord on Monday.
Ronnie Long was released from prison last fall after serving 44 years for a crime he did not commit. His conviction was vacated following his release.
Among those named in the lawsuit are multiple Concord officers as well as the police chief. The lawsuit was filed in federal court with the Eastern District of North Carolina Western Division.
“Long’s convictions were not merely the result of mistake, negligence, or incompetence,” the lawsuit reads. “They were the direct result of the intentional and/or reckless misconduct of members of the Concord Police Department.”
Long was a 20-year-old cement mason with no criminal record when he was arrested in 1976.
Long was a 20-year-old Black man living in Concord when he was accused of raping a white woman. Long’s attorneys have said that more than 40 fingerprints collected from the scene were never shared and did not match Long’s. Semen samples also were never disclosed to the defense. They later disappeared.
The state awarded Long just $750,000 in compensation. Long’s attorney, Duke University law professor Jamie Lau, said the amount was inadequate for people who were imprisoned for decades.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.