Miami PD Had Evidence Teen Did Not Murder Crown Heights Rabbi but Charged Him Anyway, Lawsuit Alleges


A teenager who was cleared of charges two years ago in connection with the fatal shooting of a rabbi in northeast Miami-Dade has filed a lawsuit against the Miami-Dade Police Department and a detective assigned to the case.

Rabbi Yosef Raksin z”l of Brooklyn was visiting his daughter near Miami when he was shot dead early on a Shabbos while on his way to shul.

Prosecutors later dropped all charges against 17-year-old Deandre Charles of South Florida, the suspect originally accused of killing Rabbi Raksin in 2014.

CBS reports that Charles was charged based on circumstantial evidence including DNA and cell phone records, but prosecutors later explained that the case collapsed, saying a “change in lab protocol” puts the DNA evidence in question. Additionally, a reevaluation of the cell phone records can’t place the defendant at the scene.

Now De’Andre Charles is filing a lawsuit claiming that authorities were eager to make an arrest in the case because of the publicity and calls from elected officials to get justice for the victim’s family.

That, in turn, “created a working environment that became the moving force behind the grossly negligent or deliberately indifferent investigation conducted by Defendant, Detective Michael Brajdic, causing the false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution of the plaintiff, and violating the plaintiff’s Fourth and 14th Amendment rights,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and asks for “all compensatory damages reasonable under the circumstances, including mental anguish and emotional distress (and) loss of enjoyment of life.”


Since prosecutors dropped Charles’ case in 2017, no other suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder.

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