In 2014, Aitabdel Salem, 41, was arrested for allegedly attacking a police officer after officers said he was stealing a coat. Salem was then sent to the Rikers Island jail in New York City with a $25,000 bail.
Eventually the charges against Salem were dropped after prosecutors were unable to get an indictment on the cop-attack accusations. Although Salem was ordered to be released, he was kept at Rikers because of previous offenses that included tampering and mischief charges. The bail amounts for these were set at a dollar each. Of course, Salem was not given this information—until almost five months later—and he’s now filed a lawsuit against the city and Legal Aid.
“Mr. Salem implored corrections officers within [Rikers Island] to tell him what happened on his respective court dates,” the lawsuit states, according to the New York Daily News. “None of the corrections officers told him that he was ordered to be free on Nov. 28, 2014, because his bail had been reduced [to] $1.” The lawsuit also charges that Salem’s “unrelenting pleas” went ignored.
Salem is currently serving four-and-a-third to five years in state prison after being convicted on felony assault and criminal tampering charges in August.