Have you ever been arrested by the police and charged with a crime you didn’t commit? I don’t mean pulled over for a speeding ticket. I don’t mean harassed or ridiculed. I don’t mean treated like a suspect.
Those things are all terrible, but I’m asking, have you ever been arrested by the police, then charged by a district attorney and judge, then sent to jail to await trial, for a crime you absolutely did not commit? Do you know anyone personally that this has happened to? I don’t mean have you heard of a person who was falsely arrested and charged, then later exonerated, but do you know someone?
Well, before he even had a chance to graduate high school, standout student Pedro Hernandez, a good kid from The Bronx, had his entire life flash before his eyes with such false arrests and charges – not once, or twice, which would be absolutely outrageous, but seven different times.
This series is called “Soul Snatchers” for a reason. When another Bronx teenager, Kalief Browder, was arrested and charged for a crime he did not commit, and then left to rot in jail on Rikers Island for three years without ever being found guilty of a crime, he was routinely beaten and humiliated in the worst possible ways. When the charges were eventually dismissed, and he was simply let out, without as much as an apology, his body was fully functioning, but his soul had been ripped out and damaged beyond repair. Kalief’s family surrounded him with love and support. Jay Z and Rosie O’Donnell did the same. The three years in Rikers, though, had damaged Kalief in ways that were invisible to us, but painfully real to him.
Earlier this week I sat and had breakfast with Pedro Hernandez and his loving family. Fighting back the tears, his mother Jessica told me that all of the false arrests, all of the fake charges, and all of the time in and out of jail, where he too was brutally beaten and abused, has left her son a hollow shell of his former self. He’s sometimes jumpy and nervous. He won’t leave the house – afraid that it may all happen again. She can hardly get him to leave his room. The smell of certain foods reminds of him of Rikers and he simply can’t eat.
Two straight years of hell on earth haven’t simply hardened him – they appear to have changed his very nature. He’s still Pedro. He still responds when you call his name. He still remembers wonderful memories and moments from his childhood, but he’s just not the same. And how could be?
What I am about to tell you is a criminal conspiracy by the NYPD, the Bronx DA’s Office, and the City of New York to destroy Pedro Hernandez. After Kalief died, in photo op after photo op, press conference after press conference, elected officials and city leaders pledged that what happened to Kalief would never happen to another child in this city again. They lied. It’s happening to kids all over New York City – particularly in The Bronx – and it’s happening to Pedro Hernandez right now. He’s on life’s edge and his future continues to hang in the balance.
What follows is a quick history of those false arrests. In my full piece, Part 3 from the series Soul Snatchers, I break down each case with videos, affidavits, court records, and a slew of evidence.
Pedro was falsely arrested for attempted murder on July 14th, 2015. Witnesses and surveillance footage showed that Pedro was not even at the scene, but police started beating and threatening people to say that it was Pedro. All charges were dismissed against Pedro on February 29th, 2016
- A man was shot in The Bronx on September 12th, 2015. In the records I saw were multiple witnesses to the shooting openly said it definitely was not Pedro. It didn’t matter. Pedro was falsely arrested that same day. All charges were dismissedon May 4th, 2016.
- On March 1st, 2016 Pedro was falsely arrested for the attempted murder of William Stevens. I proved in my piece that not only did Pedro not attempt to murder a man named William Stevens, but the NYPD actually made the entire crime up just to charge Pedro. All charges were dismissedon September 6th, 2016.
- On May 3rd, 2016, police falsely arrested Pedro Hernandez for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. It was filmed and neither thing happened. All charges were dismissed.
- On June 7th, 2016, police falsely arrested Pedro Hernandez for the armed robbery of William Stevens. I break all of this down in my piece, but police again completely made this crime up to frame Pedro. All charges were dismissed on November 3rd, 2016.
- Now, in just about 8 days, Pedro is scheduled to go to trial for another attempted murder charge that he had nothing to do with. In my piece, I actually name the man who should be charged.
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