Forty-one-year-old Aitabdel Salem, a native of Algeria, spent five months on New York’s Rikers Island because, uhm, officials failed to tell him that bail was set at $2, reports The Washington Post.
Salem was arrested on Nov. 21, 2014, on charges of attacking the New York police officer who was detaining him for the theft of a coat from a Zara location. His bail was set at $25,000, which he could not afford. He ended up languishing “on Rikers Island from November 2014 to April 2015 although he could have walked out at any time,” writes the News:
Prosecutors weren’t able to get an indictment for the alleged police assault, though, and Salem’s release from that charge was ordered just a week later on Nov. 28.
He still faced charges for two minor offenses from allegedly tampering with a subway card machine in 2014, according to Mashable, so he was required to post bail before leaving jail. Since the charges were so small, a judge dropped his bail to a dollar for each charge, totaling $2.
According to Salem, though, no one told him. Salem’s new attorneys, Glenn Hardy and Theodore Goldbergh, are placing the blame on his previous attorney.
Salem was released in April 2015, but was re-arrested for failing to appear at an arraignment for the original assault charge a few weeks later, on May 13, writes the New York Daily News. His lawyers claim the letter informing Salem of his court date was lost in the mail. His bail is now set at $30,000.
The news comes after “22-year-old Kalief Browder committed suicide after being held in Rikers for three years, from 2010 to 2013, without a trial on charges related to stealing a backpack,” the report notes.
SOURCE: The Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform
31 Black Women Who Died In Police Custody
1. Kathryn Johnston, 92Source:Getty 1 of 26
2. Tarika Wilson, 26Source:Getty 2 of 26
3. Shereese Francis, 30Source:Getty 3 of 26
4. Shantel Davis, 23Source:Getty 4 of 26
5. Alesia Thomas, 35Source:Getty 5 of 26
6. Malissa Williams, 30Source:Getty 6 of 26
7. Darnesha Harris, 17Source:Getty 7 of 26
8. Shelly Frey, 27Source:Getty 8 of 26
9. Miriam Carey, 34Source:Getty 9 of 26
10. Yvette Smith, 47Source:Getty 10 of 26
11. Michelle Cusseaux, 50Source:Getty 11 of 26
12. Aura Rosser, 40Source:Getty 12 of 26
13. Tanisha Anderson, 37Source:Getty 13 of 26
14. Eleanor Bumpurs, 66Source:Getty 14 of 26
15. Natasha McKenna, 37Source:Getty 15 of 26
16. Janisha Fonville, 20Source:Getty 16 of 26
17. Meagan Hockaday, 26Source:Getty 17 of 26
18. Alexia Christian, 25Source:Getty 18 of 26
19. Sandra Bland, 28Source:Getty 19 of 26
20. Gynnya McMillen, 16Source:Getty 20 of 26
21. Symone Marshall, 22Source:Getty 21 of 26
22. Korryn Gaines, 23Source:Getty 22 of 26
23. Deborah Danner, 66Source:Getty 23 of 26
24. Alteria Woods, 21Source:Getty 24 of 26
25. Charleena Lyles, 30Source:Getty 25 of 26
26. Cariann Denise Hithon, 22Source:Getty 26 of 26
Man Spends 5 Months In Rikers Island Because No One Told Him Bail Was $2 was originally published on newsone.com