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Antwan Wheeler remembers that he and two of his friends were walking along a residential street to a nightclub for teens in South Dekalb when he first spotted the police car slowing as it came over the hill. It was December 23, 2010, just after 8 p.m. A fifteen-year-old with an extensive criminal background, including two felony convictions, Wheeler had had run-ins with this particular cop before. And even though he says he wasn’t breaking the law at this moment, he was bracing himself for the usual hassle and interrogation.
An Atlanta-area youth was assaulted by a DeKalb County police officer, arrested, and served two years in a juvenile correctional facility, all for a crime he did not commit, according to a lawsuit filed in DeKalb County State Court on Tuesday. But what’s worse, the complaint claims, is that this wrongful incarceration may not have been an isolated oversight, but rather the result of problems endemic in the DeKalb juvenile justice system.