No good deed goes unpunished in the U.S. police state.
DURHAM, N.C. — A 20-year-old sophomore communications major at North Carolina Central University, Lewis James Little sat in the Durham County jail for a month last year after he did what he says he thought was the right thing.Never call police.
He and several friends had been visiting the home of a childhood friend on Melbourne Street in east Durham on the night of June 21, 2013, when, he says, they discovered 25-year-old Michael Lee dead in the middle of the road.
"I called the police – when none of the other guys were even thinking about it – trying to do the right thing, and it pretty much started from there," Lewis said.
Twenty minutes after officers arrived, he was handcuffed and later jailed under a $1.425 million bond on burglary, kidnapping and several other criminal charges in connection with a break-in at a nearby home.
"You can do good your whole life and like that, (you're in jail under) a million-dollar bond," he said. "It was kind of like a dream. I kept waking up, like, 'I can't believe I'm in here.' I kind of felt defeated."
Then, on July 15, a corrections officer told him he was free to go. The Durham prosecutor working the case dropped the charges and apologized to Little.
A witness in the home invasion had identified Little as one of three men who broke in, but statements to police called into question that identification, authorities say.
"You can assume a lot just from looking at my face and dreads. I was in basketball shorts and flip flops," Little said. "Something like that happening to them – I can kind of understand that maybe they would jump to conclusions."