Woman Accuses Police Of Fabricating Her Confession In Alleged Murder Of Her Husband

by Gee NY

A woman charged with murdering her husband in 2020 has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Tracy McCarter is alleging that officers fabricated her confession and that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office failed to disclose a crucial search warrant.

McCarter, whose case was dropped in December 2022 due to insufficient evidence, claims to have suffered serious physical and psychological harm as a result of the wrongful arrest and prosecution.

The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 2 in the Southern District of New York, names four NYPD officers and an investigator from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The officers have previously faced civilian complaints of misconduct, though the NYPD declined to comment on ongoing investigations related to McCarter’s case.

McCarter’s arrest followed the death of her estranged husband, James Murray, in March 2020. The lawsuit details a history of abuse, with Murray struggling with alcoholism and physically assaulting McCarter.

On the night of his death, a confrontation escalated, leading to Murray tripping and falling onto a kitchen knife McCarter was holding in self-defense. Forensic experts confirmed this account.

The lawsuit alleges that officers handcuffed McCarter shortly after the incident and claimed she confessed to stabbing Murray. The alleged confession formed the basis for a second-degree murder charge.

Despite body camera footage showing McCarter in distress, pleading for help, and refuting the confession claim, the charge stood.

During her incarceration on Rikers Island at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, prosecutors obtained search warrants for McCarter’s phone and computer, including dating apps she shared with Murray.

The lawsuit claims that the district attorney’s office failed to disclose a search warrant for an email account McCarter created to draw attention to her case.

The DA’s office didn’t properly inform the grand jury about Murray’s history of violence, and his intoxication levels the day of his death, McCarter’s lawyers say.

In August 2023, McCarter learned that Google had provided prosecutors access to information about the advocacy email account, StandWithTracy, without notifying her. The lawsuit alleges that the search warrant, obtained in December 2021, was based on false information from NYPD members.

The Intercept’s review of the Civilian Complaint Review Board database revealed previous complaints against the named officers, including instances of use of force, abuse of authority, and filing inaccurate reports.

The lawsuit seeks damages for McCarter’s loss of income, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideations, and medical bills.

McCarter hopes her case will prompt lawmakers to review laws protecting law enforcement and enhance accountability measures. She said:

“The legislature actually prevents the accountability necessary in a just society to stop these abuses of power.”

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