In 2000, two former Dallas police officers, Quentis Roper and Danny Maples, were convicted of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from alleged drug dealers and illegal immigrants and falsifying police reports.
Roper was convicted by a jury and received 17 years in prison. Maples pled guilty and received two years.
Thomas Wayne Williams, 38, was arrested on February 26, 1998. Maples and Roper conducted a warrantless search of the Dallas apartment where Williams was staying. The two officers demanded $5,000 from Williams. When the money was not paid, the officers produced a handgun and cocaine, which became the basis for charges of possession of cocaine and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
Williams was convicted by a jury on June 16, 1998 and sentenced to life in prison under the state’s “three strikes” law.
After Maples and Roper were convicted, Williams was able to bring his case to the attention of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, and persuade them that he was a victim of one of their frame-ups. His conviction was vacated, the case dismissed and Williams was released on June 24, 2000.
In 2004, the city of Dallas settled a federal civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of Williams for an undisclosed amount.
– Maurice Possley