The Jewish Week reports that almost 20 years after the murder of a popular Satmar landlord, a member of the landlord's own family is rooting for the wrongly-convicted 'murderer,' Jabbar Collins, to win his lawsuit against the city.
Because Collins was not convicted by the evidence – he was convicted by a seemingly corrupt DA's office that cheated the system to intentionally convict an innocent man.
Hella Winston reports in the Jewish Week:
Nearly 20 years after the murder of Abraham Pollack, a beloved chasidic landlord, in Williamsburg, one of the slain man’s relatives is sharing a long-held belief that the man convicted of the crime, Jabbar Collins, is innocent. And the relative is charging that the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles Hynes, denied the family justice by failing to apprehend the real killer.
Collins, who served 15 years of a 33-year-to-life sentence, was freed in 2010 after a federal judge vacated his conviction amid allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. He is currently suing the city for $150 million. Despite Collins’ release, Hynes has maintained his guilt and insisted repeatedly that his office did not commit any misconduct.…
“There should be a new investigation, but it’s not going to happen,” the relative, who requested anonymity out of fear of publicly criticizing Hynes, told The Jewish Week. “Charles Hynes has more power than I have.”…
About a month after Pollack’s death, Collins was arrested. About a year later, he was convicted of the murder. From the beginning, however, police had exculpatory information relating to Collins and leads pointing to someone else’s involvement, according to court documents.
For example, police records indicate that neither the building super nor the janitor — both eyewitnesses to the actual incident — picked Collins out of a lineup. Collins also had a strong alibi placing him elsewhere during the crime. Further, while police records show that eyewitness accounts given to detectives on the day of the killing established that the perpetrator was injured on his right side and bleeding after the attack, Collins had no such injury when he voluntarily appeared at the 90th Precinct for a police interview 12 days after the murder.
Indeed, police reports from early in the investigation detail the accounts of several witnesses indicating that the real perpetrator was a local drug dealer who, along with his brother, had been under recent investigation for a different robbery. In fact, less than an hour after the crime, the superintendent was shown photos of the brothers and said they each resembled the perpetrator. (According to one police report, when the two brothers appeared at the 90th Precinct at the request of a detective, they refused to talk without a lawyer; one brother, the report noted, had a scar “on stomach area.”)
Despite all this… [the DA’s office indicted and convicted Collins – largely by withholding evidence that cleared him and by threatening drug-addicted ‘witnesess’ whose coerced testimony contradicted the actual eyewitness testimony that would have been exculpatory for Collins – if the court had heard them. At least one of these ‘witnesses’ has recanted her testimony against Collins].
When asked about Collins’ lawsuit, [Pollack’s] relative said, “I am happy for him. I hope he wins.”