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$13.1 Million Settlement Reached by Actor Framed for Murder

by Douglas Ankney

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco approved a settlement of $13.1 million in a claim brought by a man who had spent more than six years in prison after police framed him for murder. The decision was unanimous.

In 2010, aspiring actor and hip-hop artist Jamal Trulove was convicted of the 2007 murder of Seu Kuka. But in 2014, his conviction was overturned on claims of prosecutorial misconduct. A jury acquitted him at his March 2015 retrial.

Trulove filed suit in 2016, claiming police misconduct in manipulating eyewitness Priscilla Lualemaga into identifying Truelove as the shooter. In April 2018, a jury found that homicide investigators Maureen D’Amico and Michael Johnson “deliberately fabricated evidence” against Trulove and withheld other evidence. The jury awarded him $10 million.

The City Attorney’s Office agreed to pay an additional $4.5 million before appealing. But the appeal was dropped when the settlement was reached. A spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office said the continued appeal would have cost the city more than $15 million. The two detectives are retired, and no one was disciplined.

Trulove, who has a role in the film, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, said the money was not worth the time he spent behind bars. He said, “You can never get those days back.” He later added on Instagram, “No amount of money could ever reverse the time I missed with my kids and the affect (sic) that it’s had on there (sic) up bringing and our relationship.” 

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Sources: sfexaminer.com, npr.org

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