Lest We Forget

Davontae Sanford

Two Detroit police officers, Michael Russell and James Tolbert had coerced Davontae Sanford to confess to murders he did not commit. Sanford, who is also blind in one eye, spent nine years in jail until in 2016 a judge overthrew his conviction after a state police investigation uncovered the misconduct of Michael Russell and James Tolbert.

Sanford's release came four years after the man who committed the crime, had already confessed to it. In 2012 a different judge had ruled that the false confession of the teenager still stands. Despite the fact that the confession from 2007 was questionable.

The court of appeals document describes how Michael Russell and James Tolbert have coerced Davontae into his confession. The life of a young Black boy did not mean anything to them. Michael Russell and James Tolbert wanted the case closed, accepting that the real murder was still out there, possibly committing furthter crimes. Michael Russell and James Tolbert, they have not been held responsible for what they did to a 14-year-old innocent boy. Michael Russell and James Tolbert, they are the ones who should be put behind bars.