DC firefighter released from prison after evidence shows officer lied

"I’m proud that we’re one step closer to having him back in the community."

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A former D.C. firefighter who spent more than 20 months in prison on gun and drug charges has been released after the arresting officer was accused of lying. 

Elon Wilson is officially a free man after a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge overturned his 2019 conviction, saying evidence in the case revealed the incident was racially motivated and built on lies from former police officer Jonathan Freitag.

Freitag reportedly pulled over Wilson in 2018, claiming he “drove over the solid line” and had “very dark-tinted windows.” Police found drugs and a gun in the car and Wilson was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison. Freitag later admitted that Wilson never went over the yellow line and the ex-cop never tested the window tint, Fox 5 DC reports.

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“The only reason that he plead guilty is because the culture in office and it threatened Mr. Wilson with mandatory sentences that were more than 10 years,” said Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano. “Every day since I learned about the situation, Mr. Wilson’s been in my head, in my heart, and I’m proud that we’re one step closer to having him back in the community.”

Descano worked with Wilson’s attorney to get his conviction overturned.

“Ever since I learned about this, he’s been on my mind. He’s been in my heart, and I hope very soon he’s going to be back in our community, and I’ll be sitting across from him so I can apologize for what the system did to him,” he said.

When it comes to the hundreds of tablets of oxycodone and the gun that police found in Wilson’s car, Descano said… “By all indications, it’s very, very likely that those were not Wilsons, it’s likely they were the passengers,” he explained. “This is a bad stop that never should have happened, and that’s why we’re moving heaven and earth to get Elon Wilson out of prison.”

Freitag reportedly had a history of racially motivated traffic stops and planting evidence on Black men. The Fairfax County prosecutor is now reviewing 400 of his cases that he seeks to vacate. The office also wants to remedy individuals who are not incarcerated but have a criminal record after their encounter with Freitag.

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Freitag is reportedly under federal investigation, accused of swiping evidence from the property room and targeting dozens of people because of their race. He was suspended in 2019 and then resigned from the Fairfax force. He has not been charged with any crime, according to the report.

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