Jury awards man $10M against officer responsible for his mistaken imprisonment

He spent 4 years behind bars for crime he didn't commit

Andrew Kramer
May 10, 2018 - 7:16 pm
Attorney Robert (Bob) Levant (left) and Khanefah Boozer

Andrew Kramer | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — An Oxford Circle man who was wrongfully imprisoned seven years ago for firing a gun at a Philadelphia police officer just received a large sum of money in a new case filed against that officer.

Khanefah Boozer, 33, remained tight-lipped after a jury awarded him $10 million in the Court of Common Pleas, but his lawyer, Robert (Bob) Levant, had plenty to say on his behalf.

"Mr. Boozer spent three years and nine months of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit. He was obviously factually innocent from the get-go," he said. "There was also a complete breakdown and failure in investigating his case."

In January 2011, Officer Ryan Waltman claimed Boozer, who was 26 at the time, fired a gun at him. Boozer was just out with friends when one of them fired a gun into the air.

The District Attorney's Office criminally charged Boozer. He went to jail and when he couldn't post bail, he remained there until a jury acquitted him in 2014 after his friend admitted to firing the weapon.

"The system failed him at a number of levels," Levant added.

He said this case demonstrates the importance of criminal justice reform and the changes that need to be made in the Philadelphia Police Department.

The city says they will appeal the verdict.