#FreeMichaelDuvall: My Brother Is Innocent

My name is Roxane J., and I’m demanding that MD State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks drop all charges against my brother Michael A. Duvall. He was arrested and wrongfully charged with a crime that he did not commit. Currently, there is no DNA or witnesses to link my brother to the murder that they’ve charged him with. He has been locked away since January 4, 2017, and has yet to get a hearing on his case.

They have nothing to prove that my brother has murdered anyone, other than a coerced and untrustworthy testimony from a witness who was offered $25,000 if she got Michael to admit that he was guilty. The prosecution has asked the court to continue the case twice, despite a clear lack of evidence. Hearsay is the only reason my brother is being accused of something that happened over a decade ago, and he was chosen to take the blame because he has a criminal record.

On November 20, 2017, my brother had his first bail hearing since being locked away for 11 months and the judge presiding over the case, Judge Beverly Woodard in Prince George’s County, declared that the Prosecution should drop the case due to lack of evidence. The reality is the officer who is in charge of the investigation, Officer Adam Cheek, has been harassing my brother since he moved to Laurel. He constantly badgered him in the neighborhood and even at his job. My brother was being profiled and was wrongfully arrested because of blatant racism and lazy detective work. Cheek has a history of profiling and harassing people in our community, his behavior is common but unacceptable.

MD State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks needs to look further into my brother’s case because it is unacceptable for them to draw the conclusion that he’s guilty with no evidence or credible witnesses. I’m also calling for an investigation to be done on this department; I believe there will more cases like my brothers that will begin to surface once that happens.

Why is this important?

The wrongful yet systematic incarceration of Black people in this country has weakened our community for decades; it’s slavery by another name. This system is causing Michael and others like him, to be jailed while waiting for their case to come to trial. Sometimes, that takes years to happen. Michael has already refused to plea to anything because he is not guilty. The scary thing is; this is the same thing that happened to Kalief Browder. He didn’t want to plead guilty to a crime that he didn’t commit, so this system took his life away in so many ways. I don’t want that to be the case for my brother or anyone. My heart is broken and a part of me is being held in the Upper Marlboro Detention Center with my brother. It is important that we take a stand against this type of abuse from the criminal injustice system so that others in our community do not fall victim to this type of pain and torture.

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