Former Wu-Tang Clan Music Producer Files Lawsuit Against NYC

Harris, also known as True Master is affiliated with rap group Wu-Tang Clan.
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Photos: DNAINFO

New York, N.Y. –– Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump of Ben Crump Law and co-counsel Craig Phemister and Ellie Silverman of Napoli & Shkolnik announced today that they have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Derrick Harris, a successful music producer, against the City of New York. Harris, also known as True Master is affiliated with rap group Wu-Tang Clan.

The complaint details the repeated harassment and targeting he endured by the New York District Attorney’s office, the New York Police Department, and corrections officers at Rikers Island, beginning in 2011.

Before the ultimate acquittal of the charges, Harris was falsely accused of raping an acquaintance after they shared a glass of wine together at his Harlem residence. Later that evening, police warrantlessly broke into Harris’s home, damaging his residence and causing him physical injuries, even though he did not resist. Authorities later returned with a search warrant that falsely stated that blood and semen were found in the home; however, no such evidence was ever retrieved from the residence.

After the violent arrest, instead of taking him to the emergency room to address the injuries he sustained by police, the complaint details that officers took him to a psychiatric facility because he refused to speak to authorities, where he was determined to have ‘no psychosis.’

Mr. Harris was never read his Miranda rights, nor was he afforded the right to remain silent. Not only was he deprived of his right to remain silent; he was retaliated against and brought to the psychiatric hospital as punishment for his silence.

Due to the damage to his home and the destruction of his front door during the arrest, there were officers stationed outside of his residence after he was escorted by the officers and released from the courthouse.

In the early hours of the morning, a police officer began yelling and knocking on his broken door. He was then informed by the officer that he was being arrested on the charge of escaping. He returned to court for yet another arraignment, only to this time be denied bail and transferred to Rikers Island for four years where he would await trial for a crime he did not commit.

The complaint details that at Rikers Island, Harris faced a myriad of abuses ranging from psychological and emotional to the more physical.

In one instance, he was called out of his cell by a corrections officer only to be beaten over the head by another inmate waiting for him. The corrections officer did not intervene during the attack but instead wrote Harris an infraction. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and was denied emergency surgery and medical appointments to address it.

“Derrick Harris faced a concerted and malicious effort to sabotage the successful life that he had built for himself and to rob him of his notoriety and freedom. Even today, it can be astounding to some to see Black people rise to success and achieve the American dream, but it remains to be seen why that assigns a target to our backs. Derrick survived nearly a decade of abuse and now has the opportunity to fight for justice – we intend to help him do just that,” said attorney Ben Crump.

Harris stood trial in 2015, representing himself, and was acquitted of the top sexual assault charges. The case continued through 2020 where Mr. Harris was essentially forced to prove his innocence by spending thousands of dollars to process DNA and engage experts to perform other testing, all of which revealed what the City already knew: that he was scientifically excluded as a suspect.

Mr. Harris subsequently appeared in court for countless agonizing appearances, and it was not until 2020 when the City of New York finally dismissed all charges.

For more information, visit bencrump.com.

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