A wrongly imprisoned Dallas man, who just won his $1.1 million lawsuit against the city, would still be in jail if not for the discovery of video evidence, which proved that his arresting officer had attacked him and lied about it.
In December of 2009, Dallas police Officer Matthew Antkowiak was dispatched to break up a fight between two white men. But on his way to the scene, he saw a black man, 62-year-old Ronald Jones, crossing the street. Antkowiak claimed that Jones was throwing beer bottles. He stopped his car and approached Jones. According to the officer, Jones tried to choke him, provoking a fight that lasted until other officers arrived. (RELATED: Dashboard cam catches cops in unbelievable series of lies that led to man’s false arrest)
Jones was arrested on assault charges and spent the next 15 months in prison, according to WFAA News 8.
The only problem? Antkowiak’s account was a complete lie — and eventually, footage from police dashboard cameras disproved it.
It was Antkowiak who choked Jones, without any provocation. When police arrived on scene, they began beating and kicking Jones, who begged for help. (RELATED: Cop wrongfully arrests man for recording him, jails him, destroys video evidence)
After seeing the video evidence, prosecutors dropped all charges against Jones. The police department eventually launched an investigation that resulted in Antkowiak resigning. The others officers involved were all cleared of wrongdoing.
For his 15 months in prison, Jones received a $1.1 million settlement.
“Had the videos not surfaced, it’s likely that Mr. Jones would have been convicted of this and served a very long prison sentence,” said his lawyer, Don Tittle, in a statement. “He spent 15 months in jail for something he clearly didn’t do. I doubt money would make up for that.”