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Tiny Doo, Another Man, Wrongfully Jailed, Will Split Nearly $1.5 Million Settlement

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Speaker 1: 00:00 They were wrongfully arrested in 2014 and incarcerated for seven months under a controversial gang law. San Diego residents, Aaron Harvey and Brandon tiny do Dunkin were arrested for allegedly being connected to nine shootings, but there was no evidence. They actually committed the shootings after suing the city of San Diego for wrongful incarceration. They have settled this week for nearly one point $5 million for emotional damages. That's the short story of Harvey and local rapper. Tiny do Duncan. There's much more to tell and they both join me now. Welcome to you both. Let me ask you this, take me back to 2014 what happened and what was your response to being arrested?

Speaker 2: 00:43 So I'd say it was about five in the morning. I um, heard a lot of chitter chatter outside of my house. I was getting up, getting ready to go to work and I told my girlfriend, I said, you hear that? She was like, no, don't hear anything. I was just like dripping, go back to sleep. And I was like, well, I got to get up and go to work, so I'm gonna see what it is. Anyway, so I get up, open the door and as soon as I opened the door, get down, get down, get down, get down, get down, get down police with, it's like machine guns, full tactical gear. And I'm like, what's going on? You know, I couldn't understand what was happening. And uh, they told me to be quiet and get down and they went through, proceeded to go through my house, tearing up my house or whatever and pull me outside and just asked him, Hey man, what's happening?

Speaker 2: 01:20 Like, what, who are you guys looking for? And said, what's your name? I said, Brandon Duncan. He said, we looking for you. They asked me, do I want to talk? I say no at first. Like I'll have nothing to talk to you about. I was like, okay, well you're being arrested for uh, Oh, you're going to jail with a $1 million bill and you're being arrested for murder. I was like, what? So I was like, okay, I'll talk to you, but I want to see like, see what's going on. So go and talk to him. And that's when they tell me, well, we know you have nothing to do with these crimes at all. We know you ain't doing anything but your music and the stuff you're talking about in your music is promoting these felonious crimes that happened. So therefore you're going to be charged with those, uh, these murders and shootings. Aaron, what about you?

Speaker 3: 01:57 Yeah, so, uh, I was actually living in Las Vegas, um, and, you know, I'll walk outside and I'm, I'm, I'm met by what kind of looked like seal team six. Right? Um, and they arrested me and told me I was, uh, one for nine murders in the state of California. Um, so I spent about 30 days in the Las Vegas County jail and, uh, and I got extradited back down in California. You know, the district attorney admitted in court, like, we know he wasn't there. We know he didn't facilitate assist to any kind of way, but because of this penal code, um, you know, we can charge him with these crimes. Um, and, and, and the judge agreed and they set my bail at one point $1 million and then we sat in jail for about seven, eight. So they'd months, months.

Speaker 1: 02:43 Your lives impacted by the experience?

Speaker 2: 02:47 Brandon, I'll start with you on that. Well, um, like for instance before I had was four, I was a kidnapped, that's why I call it my children were fine doing in school, you know, straight A's students. When I left my, um, middle son Jesse, he went from being a straight a student his entire life. So you have an all F's. That was one thing that, you know, my, the, the emotional distress that was put upon my children was like, still to this day, it's not all the way. Right. You know, we tried to, I tried to talk to him and you know, we try to get there, but that, it just, it just did something different to him. I got him back on track, graduated and everything. After I came back home, he went straight back to straight A's. So that'll show you, you know, you can kind of thing. Yeah. The impact that happens when you come and snatch a father out of his home and out of his kids' lives. Yeah. Aaron, how was your experience?

Speaker 3: 03:39 Yeah, so, you know, before you know, incarceration, I, you know, again, like I said, I was living in Vegas and studying, uh, to do real estate. Um, so, you know, being, being incarcerated and, and being told that, you know, you know, they know that you did nothing wrong. You know, you didn't have the wrong. Um, but still, uh, you know, being threatened with a life sentence. Um, you know, I was just kinda like the, the, the psychological impact that it has on your, on your mental health. It kind of just like the pleats, uh, rapidly. Um, so even, even, even, you know, just kinda like trying to console family members on the phone and pretty much lying, like, well, we're, we're getting out, there's, this isn't, isn't, isn't gonna stick or whatnot, but, but actually having to kind of like trick your brain into believing or, or, or being okay with you're going to die in this place. Right. You don't just click back to normal and once you're, once you're released. Right. So, you know, even now, kinda like, you know, being in public places or loud noises or just kinda like the nightmares, dream, just a lot of anxiety. Um, kinda just like with things I used to be just our daily normal lives. Uh, I feel like I sometimes I can't really interact or, or be kind of like my normal self. Like I used to be.

Speaker 2: 04:56 You all did make it out seven months later. Yeah. And you decided to fight this in court. Tell me about that and what led you up to this point here today?

Speaker 3: 05:05 Me and Brandon, when we would go back and forth to court, um, we kind of set the plan then honestly, we, we kind of like made a truce with each other. Like none of us were not going to sign me. You were not going to sign. Um, and when we get out of, you know, Brandon, you know, he has kids, so if they're, if they're trying to set a precedent and use this on us, it's not necessarily for us. It's like for Brandon's kids, it's for my nephews, um, and many kids who grew up like us and the communities that we come from. Um, and I felt like, well, we felt like that it was just, it was a lot bigger than us, right. Um, that we were almost kind of have be like those sacrificial lambs and kinda just fight this, uh, all the way to the end, um, to make sure that this doesn't happen to our community, but communities across California and the United States, um,

Speaker 2: 05:53 right, so bigger than us, we feel like we can't let this happen to nobody else. And it's like, even if it means like, uh, you know, us going up the way and having to do, get the license because we're not, we're not signing for nobody because it's, it's wrong. It's super injust and we was like, gonna fight it by all means.

Speaker 3: 06:13 And, and Aaron, how does it feel to have this behind you? I think that's probably what we're more happy about. You know, it's stressful back and forth to court. Um, it's stressful. Kinda just being known as those guys who went to jail kind of thing. Right. We, we, we're, we, we've done so much prior to this, we've done so much since this. Um, so now just kind of being able to put this behind us to move forward and to, uh, continue to execute the plans that we kind of really want to do is kind of a sense of relief and, you know, so what's the head for both of you? Where are you all right now in your lives and, um, what are you pursuing Brandon?

Speaker 2: 06:49 Uh, well, um, obviously back doing my music again, full flares to, you know, talking about the things that I want to talk about and not with, they feel like it's okay to talk about. So I'm, I'm, you know, that's what I'm doing. I'm still pursuing my music career and dibbling and dabbling in management, you know what I mean? Stuff like that. Yeah.

Speaker 3: 07:08 And Aaron year in school. Yeah. I'm in my last year a UC Berkeley studying political science. Um, and, uh, actually studying for my, for my El SAS right now, getting ready to apply to law schools. All right, well, best of luck to the both of you. I appreciate you stopping by to talk to us. I've been speaking to Aaron Harvey and Brandon, tiny dude Dunkin again. Thank you very much. Thank you.

The San Diego City Council signed off Tuesday on a $1.475 million settlement of a wrongful arrest lawsuit brought by two local men who were incarcerated for seven months under a controversial gang law.

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.