May 16, 2001
Edition: Schenectady Albany; Final
False arrest claimed
SCHENECTADY - A 44-year-old city man who was acquitted of drug dealing charges notified the city that he plans to file a lawsuit claiming false arrest by police. Carmine Miller filed a notice of claim at City Hall Tuesday morning. He said police charged him with two 1999 drug deals despite the fact he bears little similarity to the person undercover officers said they saw sell the drugs. On Monday, a Schenectady County Court jury acquitted Miller of two counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and other drug charges. The charges stem from drug deals that police said occurred Nov. 23 and Nov. 30 at 971 Albany St. Miller, a parolee with a prior criminal record that includes a drug sale conviction, could have faced up to life in prison if convicted. "It scares me to think that I could be walking down the street and have somebody point at me and say I did it," Miller said Tuesday, "and then I have to go through all this and spend all that time in jail." A Schenectady County grand jury indicted Miller on June 14, 2000. Police apprehended him on Nov. 15; he was held without bail at the county jail until his acquittal Monday night. Miller's lawyer, Randall E. Kehoe of Albany, said police stopped Miller on Albany Street shortly after the Nov. 30 purchase, despite the fact that he didn't fit the description an undercover officer gave of the dealer. Miller stands 5-feet 9-inches, is bald and his arms are covered with tattoos, Kehoe said. A police investigator described the dealer as standing taller than 6 feet, with a head of hair and no tattoos, he said. "It was deliberately indifferent," Kehoe said of the police investigation. "They didn't give a damn. They got the first black guy they saw walking on Albany Street." City Corporation Counsel Michael Brockbank said he didn't believe Miller had a case, given that a grand jury heard evidence in the case and voted to indict. "Tell him to make a complaint against the grand jury," he said.
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