DETROIT (FOX 2) - A man who spent 18 years in prison before he was cleared of two murders is filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Detroit and a police sergeant.
Mubarez Ahmed is celebrating his 49th birthday -- his first birthday as a freeman in nearly 18 years. He was imprisoned for almost two decades for a double murder he did not commit.
"Walk in my shoes for that 17 years and 8 months that you robbed out of my life," he said.
Ahmed and his attorney, Wolfgang Mueller, are announcing a $105 million lawsuit against the City of Detroit and former homicide Sgt. Ernie Wilson. They allege Wilson fabricated evidence and lied about witnesses all to get a conviction instead of justice.
"All this is because of an officer I don't even know - never met this guy in my life. I don't know why he just decided one day say let me pick up Mr. Ahmed and put these murders on him," Ahmed said.
It took 25 law students from the Michigan Innocence Clinic more than nine years to secure Ahmed's exoneration. Private investigator and former Fox 2 investigative reporter, Scott Lewis, also worked on the case.
This is just one of several exonerations this year alone with more to come -- all related to Detroit police homicide investigations from decades ago.
"Whatever it took to close a case is what was done," Mueller said. "This is just absolute intentional misconduct. ... In the 90's and 2000's DPD homicide, they couldn't catch a cold much less catch a killer so they were trying to improve their batting average by any means necessary."
Detroit police are conducting an internal investigation, but the alleged misconduct by police can't be prosecuted. The statute of limitations has run out, so suing the city for millions of dollars is the only option for justice for Ahmed and who knows how many other men and women just like him.
"You're darn right it's a lot of money, but it's an awful lot of harm," Mueller said.
"If I had that money I'd give you double that money back. Bring me what I lost," Ahmed said.
What was lost was so many years behind bars, and during that time Ahmed also lost his young son, his brother and his mother. Now he spends his time reconnecting with daughter Nadia, whom he was forced to leave behind when she just 2 years old.
"How do I explain to her where I've been, why I missed her life? Why I missed her birthdays? Why I couldn't be there during school? How do you do that? How do you explain that to a kid, all this thanks to Sgt. Ernest Wilson," Ahmed said.