SOUL SNATCHERS: Countering the State Sponsored Conspiracy to Destroy Pedro Hernandez (Part 3)

Shaun King
38 min readAug 28, 2017


Have you ever been arrested by the police and charged with a crime you didn’t commit? I don’t mean pulled over for a speeding ticket. I don’t mean harassed or ridiculed. I don’t mean treated like a suspect.

(Read Part 1 of Soul Snatchers HERE & Part 2 HERE.)

I’m asking, have you ever been arrested by the police, then charged by a prosecutor, then sent to jail to await trial, for a crime you absolutely did not commit? Do you know anyone personally who this has happened to? I don’t mean have you heard of a person who was falsely arrested and charged, then later exonerated, but do you know someone?

Before he even had a chance to graduate high school, standout student Pedro Hernandez, a good kid from The Bronx, had his entire life flash before his eyes with such false arrests and charges — not once, or twice, which would be absolutely outrageous, but seven different times.

Kalief Browder

This series is called “Soul Snatchers” for a reason. When another Bronx teenager, Kalief Browder, was arrested and charged for a crime he did not commit, and then left to rot in jail on Rikers Island for three years without ever being found guilty of a crime, he was routinely beaten and humiliated in the worst possible ways. When the charges were eventually dismissed, and he was simply let out without as much as an apology, his injured body was functioning, but his soul had been ripped out and damaged beyond repair. Kalief’s family surrounded him with love and support. Jay Z and Rosie O’Donnell did the same. The three years in Rikers, though, had damaged Kalief in ways that were mostly invisible to us, but painfully real to him.

Earlier this week I sat and had breakfast with Pedro Hernandez and his family. Fighting back tears, his mother Jessica told me that all of the false arrests, all of the fake charges, and all of the times in and out of jail — where he, too, was brutally beaten and abused — has left her son a hollow shell of his former self. He’s sometimes jumpy and nervous. He won’t leave the house — afraid that it may all happen again. She can hardly get him to leave his room. The smell of certain foods reminds of him of Rikers and he simply can’t eat.

Seems like a lifetime ago. Pedro — before his first false arrest.

Two straight years of hell on earth haven’t simply hardened him — they appear to have changed his very nature. He’s still Pedro. He still responds when you call his name. He still remembers wonderful memories and moments from his childhood, but he’s just not the same. And how could he be?

What I am about to tell you is the story of criminal conspiracy by the NYPD, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, and the City of New York to destroy Pedro Hernandez. After Kalief died, in photo op after photo op and press conference after press conference, elected officials and city leaders pledged that what happened to Kalief would never happen to another child in this city again. They lied. It’s happening to kids all over New York City — particularly in The Bronx — and it’s happening to Pedro Hernandez right now. He’s on life’s edge and his future continues to hang in the balance.

“I knew we were in trouble when Detective David Terrell of the 42nd Precinct got my cell phone number off of a report from my oldest son and started calling me at home,” said Jessica Perez, mother of Pedro Hernandez. “That was all the way back in 2011. He wouldn’t even pretend to talk about police matters. It started with him literally having the nerve to ask me if I would cook Spanish food for him then it got worse from there. That was in October. I changed my number a few months later because he just wouldn’t let up.”

This is a common refrain heard from families who were targeted by Terrell. At least five different women have now gone on the record to say that he sexually harassed them and offered to stop targeting their kids if they’d give in and have sex with him.

When I first heard Pedro’s story — that he was an innocent kid locked up at Rikers — being framed by police and prosecutors — I wanted to believe it, but I just couldn’t afford to take his friends and family at their word. The allegations were so outrageous, and so damning, that if true, only a criminal conspiracy of historic proportions could explain such a thing.

On December 15th, 2014, the NYPD, in concert with the Bronx DA’s office, began a full on assault against 15-year-old Pedro Hernandez. He was a sweet kid in a rough neighborhood, and had never been arrested before. He never should’ve been arrested.

Standing on a corner near 168th Street in the Bronx, Pedro was talking to his brother’s friends, who were sitting inside of a double-parked car. When police from the 42nd Precinct pulled up in an unmarked car, they got out and asked Pedro to do something he had never heard before. “Get in the car,” the officer demanded to Pedro, speaking of the car his brother’s friends were in. On TV, he had heard police officers yell for people to “get out of the car,” but he had never heard them demand that someone get into someone else’s car. Pedro then told the officer that he lived close by and didn’t need a ride. The officer repeated his order, “I need you to get in the car.” So Pedro complied. This simple moment was a turning point in Pedro’s life.

At almost the very instant the driver of the car shifted it into drive and moved it forward less than 30 inches, police turned their flashing lights on and ordered the car to stop. They had asked Pedro to get into the back seat for a reason — they could not arrest him, as they planned to do with everyone in the car on that evening, if he was just outside of it talking to them. They needed Pedro to be inside of it. Police in The Bronx are full of tricks like this.

Claiming that they thought they smelled the faint hint of marijuana, police now ordered Pedro and the other guys out of the vehicle and handcuffed them all, rounded them up, and took them to the 42nd Precinct, without informing any of them why they were being arrested.

Without an attorney or his mother present, Sgt. Barnett asked Pedro, “Why are all of the passengers saying the gun we found in the car was yours?” Pedro had no idea what he was stepping into at the time, but the question from Sgt. Barnett was NYPD 101. Of course, none of the passengers said any gun in the car belonged to Pedro, but perhaps Pedro would name someone else if he thought they had named him. “I was never even in the vehicle until the police told me I had to get in it. I have no idea what you are talking about.”

Life would never be the same for Pedro Hernandez again. That next morning, from the 42nd Precinct, he was taken to Horizon Juvenile Center. A few hours later he was taken to Family Court. A few hours later he was taken to another temporary detention center. Yet a few more hours later he was taken to New Bridge Non-Secure Detention Center. It’s not what you think. It’s a house in a neighborhood in the middle of The Bronx except it has officers who guard it and the house has bars on the windows. The 16 days Pedro stayed at New Bridge were the beginning of the end of his childhood.

On January 5th, 2015, something horrible happened to Pedro at this facility. At 12:15AM, with no provocation, Officer Gregory Hyman forced Pedro out of bed, shoved him out of his room, and into an empty room in the house and began brutally beating him. One punch from Hyman to Pedro’s face was so forceful that it caused Pedro to hit his head on a scorching hot radiator, also injuring his hands and neck as well. Not once did Pedro return force, but Hyman continued the brutal beating. When another child in the facility saw and heard the beating, he attempted to barge in to save Pedro, but other officers blocked the door. The child continued to try to get in there to stop it, but couldn’t, as Pedro screamed for help. Hyman then proceeded to choke Pedro.

Here’s the video, released in full for the first time. It’s painful to watch.

The Director of New Bridge, who was not in the house at the time of the incident, but saw it on camera, immediately fired Gregory Hyman for the assault, notified police and Pedro’s mother, and immediately had Pedro transferred out of her facility. Over the next 24 hours, Pedro was then bounced back to Horizon Detention Center, then Family Court, then Bronx Hope School, then New View Detention Center — where he was denied proper medical care at each place, before finally being transferred to Lutheran Detention Center.

But here’s what’s wild. The Bronx DA’s Office had the video of Pedro being brutally assaulted for 20 months and did nothing about it until private investigator Manuel Gomez obtained the video and sent it to local reporter James Ford, of New York television station, Pix 11. A full 20 months after a grown man assaulted a child in the dark of the night, Gregory Hyman was finally arrested and charged with assault, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal obstruction of breathing and blood circulation, and harassment.

From this point forward, having already trapped Pedro inside of the criminal justice system, the NYPD and the Bronx DA’s Office began a series of flagrant, illegal arrests of Pedro Hernandez — threatening and forcing false witnesses with prosecution and even violence if they did not identify Pedro in crimes he absolutely did not commit.

What follows is the detailed history of those false arrests and the evidence, including affidavits and videos from witnesses who openly state that Detective David Terrell, Detective Daniel Brady, and Assistant District Attorney David Slott wantonly and flagrantly demanded that they identify Pedro in crimes he didn’t commit — or suffer severe consequences. It’s a lot of information that took me over a month to sort through and understand. Here, I’ll try to do it as clearly and methodically as I can.

Pedro Falsely Arrested For Attempted Murder :: July 14th, 2015

On July 12th, 2015, a 15 year old boy named Tyrese Revels was shot in the calf. Pedro didn’t shoot him. Pedro didn’t even know Tyrese Revels and Tyrese Revels did not know Pedro. Consequently, not a single shred of physical evidence existed showing that Pedro had anything at all to do with this shooting. Nothing. It didn’t matter. And you will soon see — evidence, truth, lies, guilt, innocence — none of it matters to the detectives in the 42nd Precinct or the prosecutors in the Bronx DA’s office. They are just out to get arrests and convictions and are fully willing to railroad anyone to get them. I’m sure that sounds harsh, but evidence will prove that is the case.

Remember, Tyrese Revels is not only a kid, but he’s a kid who has been shot. With no concern for his well-being, Detectives Terrell and Brady, alongside Assistant District Attorney David Slott, begin demanding that Tyrese identify Pedro as his shooter.

Here’s Tyrese, the shooting victim, in his own words, on being pressured to falsely identify Pedro:

In another interview, Tyrese Revels details how Detective David Terrell threatened him with physical violence if he didn’t lie and say he saw Pedro shoot him.

Even though police knew full well where 15-year-old Pedro Hernandez lived, they released his photo to every single news station in the city as their lead suspect in the shooting of Tyrese Revels. The photo came from Pedro’s Facebook page. Sure enough, the news media ran with it. On July 13th, 2015 New York’s News 12 showed Pedro’s photo as an important suspect in a shooting. From morning until night they showed his image with a message that the NYPD needed help locating him. He was literally sitting at home the whole time. That’s the web version of it above.

Pedro’s mother, Jessica, seeing this on the web and on the news, then called the 42nd Precinct to inform them that she would be bringing Pedro in for questioning the next day. When Jessica brought him in, instead of simply questioning him, the police arrested Pedro right there on the spot and charged him with the crimes of attempted murder in the second degree; assault in the first degree; criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; assault in the second degree; reckless endangerment in the first degree; assault in the third degree; reckless endangerment in the second degree; criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; and harassment in the second degree. They didn’t bother taking it before a grand jury. It would’ve never held up — they had no evidence.

Now, I just need us to stop right there. Let’s not get too deep. I just need you to imagine what it would feel like if you got arrested and charged with 9 crimes, most of them serious felonies — including attempted murder — when you didn’t commit a single one of them. Imagine what that would do to you emotionally, physically, and financially. Imagine what it would do to your family. Now imagine it happening to you when you were 15. Now imagine it happening to you when you were 15 and you had already been brutally beaten by a guard while locked up previously. Because that’s exactly where Pedro and his family were emotionally. To them, this wasn’t a news story, or a headline, or a trending topic, their entire lives were turned upside down. They wondered if Pedro might end up getting sent to prison for decades for some foolishness that he didn’t even know anything about.

First the police sent Pedro to central booking. Next, they sent him over to Horizon Juvenile Center for six days, before he was finally released on his own recognizance, but the charges remained.

From his release in July until February of 2016, Pedro and his family attended five different court hearings on the attempted murder charge — wondering each time if police might lock him back up. Then, without even a small explanation or apology, all charges were simply dropped against Pedro on February 29th, 2016.

Here’s the copy of the dismissal:

This began an unbelievably traumatic trend for Pedro and his family of him being charged with a wide of variety of violent, serious felonies — only for prosecutors to hold them over his head for months on end — then dropping them without explanation. Each new instance caused its own level of damage to Pedro and his family. Before any of us ever heard of his story, he had already been repeatedly chewed up and spit out and chewed up again by the NYPD and the Bronx DA’s Office. What happened to Pedro in that case should not happen to anyone, but in the Bronx it’s everyday life.

Pedro is falsely arrested and sent to jail for yet another shooting :: September 12th, 2015

While riding his bike home at 4pm in the afternoon on September 12th, 2015, two police cars pulled up on Pedro and pointed their guns at him through the windows of their vehicles. We should just stop right there for a moment. Again, this type of behavior should not be normal. He’s a child. One such traumatic moment is enough for anybody to experience in their lifetime, but for Pedro it became a way of life. The officers then got out of their car, grabbed Pedro, and slammed him up against the police cruiser — searching his entire body from head to toe — telling him he “fit the description of a shooter.” Police then showed Pedro to a man sitting in the backseat of the police cruiser who literally said, “That’s not the guy.” One cruiser left, then came back with another witness. On the police report she complained that she didn’t have on her prescription glasses that day and said “I can’t identify the shooter. I couldn’t identify Mr. Hernandez as the shooter. All I know is that it was a Hispanic male with a white tank top t-shirt.” Nevermind that Pedro had on a long sleeve shirt and more hair than anybody in the entire neighborhood— the description was close enough for police so they arrested Pedro anyway.

For a week he sat in jail without ever even being formally charged with a crime. Finally, his mother bailed him out, but the police strangely refused to even say exactly what he was being charged with. For months and months the family wondered. They emailed, called, and even visited the District Attorney’s Office. They asked private investigator Manuel Gomez to help them get to the bottom of it and not a single soul would explain themselves.

Finally, a full 8 months after Pedro was arrested and jailed for yet another shooting he had nothing to do with, a crime in which an eyewitness openly told police it definitely wasn’t him, the charges were dismissed on May 4th, 2016. Here’s the dismissal paper.

Dismissal of Shooting that Pedro Hernandez Had Nothing to Do With

What happens next made it painfully clear that the police in the 42nd Precinct and the attorneys in the Bronx DA’s Office had a personal vendetta against Pedro Hernandez and were dead set on destroying his life by any means necessary. On February 29th, 2016, in the case we just discussed, all charges were dismissed for the second false shooting Pedro was accused of, but on the very next day, March 1st, 2016, police from the 42nd Precinct came and arrested him again — this time for yet another attempted murder he had absolutely nothing to do with, and held him in jail for nearly a week during the school year.

But here’s the thing — and this is criminal — no attempted murder even took place. It never happened. The police made the whole thing up. Yes, you are reading that correctly — the crime never happened. Detectives David Terrell and Daniel Brady, with support from other officers in the 42nd Precinct invented it — and forced another victim of theirs to go along with a disturbing series of completely false allegations.

Pedro Hernandez Falsely Arrested for the Attempted Murder of a Mystery Person :: March 1st, 2016

I must do a recap.

  1. Tyrese Revels is shot on July 12th, 2015. Pedro was arrested for it on July 14th, 2015. All charges were dismissed against Pedro on February 29th, 2016
  2. Someone, somewhere gets shot at on September 12th, 2015. Pedro gets arrested that same day. All charges were dismissed on May 4th, 2016.

Now, the day after the charges against Pedro were dismissed in the Tyrese Revels shooting, police from the 42nd Precinct arrest Pedro for yet another attempted murder, but refuse to give even the most basic details on who they are claiming he shot. As you could imagine at this point, this is a worst case nightmare scenario for Pedro and his family. It’s stranger than fiction. He’s a 16 year old boy and it appears that the most powerful police department in the world has it out for him.

The fog of war came over the family. Why was this happening? What were they going to do? What were police and prosecutors even claiming that Pedro did in this case? Soon, it would all start to come into focus.

Meet William Stevens

William Stevens, lifelong resident of The Bronx, and longtime victim of Detectives David Terrell & Daniel Brady

“Police from the 42nd Precinct came right here to our house to get William at least thirty different times,” said his mother, Rhonda Fuller, as we sat and talked at her kitchen table high up in a public housing building in The Bronx. “It might’ve been more than that. Sometimes they’d come multiple times in the same day to get him. Other times, we’d all be asleep and they’d drag my son out of bed in his underwear.”

I pressed William’s mother on this. “When you say the police came here to get William thirty different times, do you mean they came here a lot, or do you mean it was really thirty different times?”

“Listen,” Fuller responded. “It might’ve been fifty. It happened sometimes when I was at work, but I know of at least thirty times they came through here and snatched William up. I would demand that they show me paperwork or a warrant, but they didn’t care. They never cared. And who was I supposed to call to report them to?”

“When did all of this begin?” I asked.

“Detective David Terrell started abusing my son all the way back in middle school seven or eight years ago. He used to be an officer at the school and I had heard that he would mistreat the kids, but I had no idea it was as bad as it turned out to be. I think it was at that point that William stopped telling me anything at all about what the police would do to him.”

“On several different occasions, William would come home with a black eye or busted lip and try to go straight back to his room. I think he thought he was protecting our whole family, I have five kids, by not talking about it. Other times he’d tell me he had gotten into a squabble with his friends, but now I see the truth and it hurts so much,” Fuller continued.

I knocked on doors and spoke with other people up and down Rhonda’s hallway to confirm whether or not the police actually came there as often as she claimed. They all confirmed it — assuming that William was a problem child who simply couldn’t stay out of trouble.

Maybe that alternate reality would’ve been better for William than the truth. Police had completely broken his spirit and were now using him not just as a confidential informant, but as a false witness in dozens of different cases — many times against people he had never seen or even heard of before.

Pedro’s family and the private investigator they hired, Manuel Gomez, had an idea that some type of secret false witness was being used against him in the previous cases that had been dismissed. In each case, Gomez would pound the pavement and find reliable witness after witness who could easily prove that Pedro was innocent. The building supervisor could prove it. The neighborhood barber could prove it. Respectable business owners in the community could prove it. But Gomez could never find a single solitary soul who could confirm Pedro’s guilt in those cases. He looked. Not only that, he couldn’t find anybody who even knew of one individual person who was claiming that Pedro was shooting people all over The Bronx as the police and prosecutors continued to charge. Whoever the witness was, it was a secret.

It was William Stevens. He didn’t know Pedro. Pedro didn’t know him. They weren’t friends or even friends of friends. They didn’t hang. They didn’t live on the same block. But one day in court, as Pedro and his family fought back against this new attempted murder charge, Assistant District Attorney David Slott made a huge mistake.

Pedro was handed a court document that named what appeared to be the primary witness against him. It was a name he had never heard before — Steven Williams.

“I’m in court with Pedro and I notice he has a piece of paper in his hand, and all of a sudden his eyes get big. He’s clearly seen something shocking. He shows it to me. And there it was, plain as day, the name Steven Williams, the man who had turned our lives upside down,” said Pedro’s mother, Jessica Perez.

Suddenly, according to several witnesses, ADA (Assistant District Attorney) Slott rushed over to Pedro, snatched the paper out of his hands, and ripped it up right there on the spot.

“That was the turning point,” said Manuel Gomez. “That’s when we knew, when we had the proof, that this was so much more than just a bunch of bad luck or even bad policing. Police and prosecutors were using a false witness against Pedro, but we couldn’t find him anywhere. He was a ghost. I kid you not, I looked for this man for 10 straight months. I knocked on hundreds of doors, spoke to hundreds of people, and nobody knew Steven Williams. Guess what? We had his name backwards. The paper said Steven Williams, but his name is William Stevens.”

It is indeed.

For years now, William Stevens has been working with the NYPD and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office to falsify cases against whoever their targets were at any given moment. And at this point, the police and prosecutors were targeting William Stevens and Pedro, it appeared, was strangely being charged with the attempted murder of William.

Except the two kids had never even shared the same space at the same time before. It was all a farce. William didn’t even make the story up — the police and prosecutors did — and they threatened him if he didn’t refuse to go along.

Learning this, Sarah Wallace, the award-winning reporter of NBC’s New York affiliate WNBC, who has done some of the most amazing work covering the injustice Pedro has experienced, traveled to Green Correctional Facility to interview William and ask him if he has indeed been serving as a false witness for the NYPD and the DA’s office. You have to see the interview for yourself. What he says, at great risk to his own safety and well-being, is explosive.

It’s painful to watch. Speaking at great length to Sarah Wallace, William Stevens tells her that being in prison, far away from Detectives Terrell and Brady, is the safest he has felt in years.

“I was scared, terrified,” Stevens said. “They would always come and threaten me — saying that I’ve got to sign this, you’ve gotta sign this photo array about somebody. They’d come (and say) if you don’t sign this paper, we’re gonna take you somewhere and beat you up.”

When asked by Wallace how many people he lied on across the years, Stevens openly admitted that it was at least 25 people including…you guessed it — Pedro Hernandez — saying that he had been pressured not just by Detectives David Terrell and Daniel Brady, but by the Assistant District Attorney David Slott, to lie on Pedro on at least three different occasions.

“Officer Terrell came in and started punching me in my ribs,” said Stevens. “Then he started punching me in my face. And then he said, if you don’t sign this, this is going to happen every time we come and pick you up.”

Stevens continued, “He (Terrell) told me — you’ve gotta sign this about another shooting Pedro Hernandez did.” And so Stevens signed it. “I was just thinking if I did it, they were going to leave me alone.”

But they didn’t leave William alone — instead they continued to beat, humiliate, and threaten him. Kids in the community said that Detective Terrell routinely humiliated “Junior” in public — even pulling his pants down and exposing his genitals in front of crowds of people. Then, what Stevens told Wallace next may very well be the most disturbing statement of this entire series and explains how and why a young man would say he feels safer in prison than he did at home in The Bronx. After Stevens identified a photo of Slott, who is the lead prosecutor in the case against Pedro Hernandez, to Sarah Wallace, he then told her that Slott himself not only knew of the abuse he was suffering, but that he even used it to pressure Stevens to lie against Pedro. “He told me that if I don’t testify against him (Pedro) in court, he’s going to have Officer Terrell come to my house and harass me all of the time.”

But long before any of us ever heard of William Stevens — or even of Pedro for that matter — the bogus cases police and prosecutors concocted against Pedro with Stevens as the mystery victim started falling apart at the seams.

First, the bogus charge filed against Pedro for the attempted murder of William Stevens was dismissed six months later on September 6th, 2016.

Here’s a copy of that dismissal:

Dismissal of False Attempted Murder Charge

Let’s do another recap.

  1. Tyrese Revels is shot on July 12th, 2015. Pedro was arrested for it on July 14th, 2015. All charges were dismissed against Pedro on February 29th, 2016
  2. Someone, somewhere gets shot at on September 12th, 2015. Pedro gets arrested that same day. All charges were dismissed on May 4th, 2016.
  3. On March 1st, 2016 Pedro was arrested for the attempted murder of William Stevens. All charges were dismissed on September 6th, 2016.

At this point, police and prosecutors are basically claiming that Pedro Hernandez is something akin to a world class serial killer who evades police and prosecution like a pro — while amazingly using a public defender to beat the rap time after time after time, all while working hard to stay on track in high school, getting awards for his academic achievements, and garnering scholarship offers from around the country.

Instead of relenting after having three different cases against Pedro completely dismissed, each featuring violent armed felonies, police and prosecutors doubled down on him. Now they were embarrassed.

Pedro Hernandez Falsely Arrested for Disorderly Conduct & Resisting Arrest :: May 3rd, 2016

On May 3rd, 2016, Pedro Hernandez was falsely arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after police from the 42nd Precinct forced him out of his grandmother’s car, illegally searched him, found nothing, then were recorded aloud wondering if the car was perhaps stolen or had been vandalized or even had expired tags. None were true. You’d have to know Pedro to understand what I’m about to say, but the kid is never disorderly, combative, or uncooperative. Because it was all recorded by cell phone cameras, all charges were again dismissed. This is now the fourth different time Pedro was arrested on bogus charges by the 42nd Precinct with all charges dismissed each and every time. Here’s the video from the incident.

Pedro Hernandez Falsely Arrested for Armed Robbery for Stealing a Backpack from…William Stevens :: June 7th, 2016

At this point, police in the 42nd Precinct and prosecutors in the Bronx DA’s Office are just downright sloppy and appear to be willing to charge Pedro Hernandez with as many crimes as they can until they somehow game the system and convict him for something he didn’t do. This time, they again use their reliable false witness, William Stevens, to not just say that he saw Pedro do something illegal, but again allege that it actually happened to him.

The story is as preposterous as it gets. William Stevens signed a statement saying that on June 2nd, 2016 at about 7:55PM he had a backpack with $5,000 in it that was stolen at gunpoint by Pedro Hernandez. Four days later, while in his local high school, Pedro was arrested for the armed robbery of William Stevens.

First and foremost, it’d be shocking if William had a backpack with $50 in it — $500 would be absurd — $5,000 is downright ridiculous. This kid has never had that much money, be it in an account or on his person, in his lifetime. His mother confirmed this. He openly admitted this in his interview with Sarah Wallace and stated that the stories were completely concocted by Detectives David Terrell and Daniel Brady and that he was simply forced to sign on to them. He was never robbed of a backpack full of cash and Pedro Hernandez has never committed a crime of any kind against him.

Secondly, Private Investigator Manuel Gomez, having served as an officer in the NYPD and military for nearly 30 years, noticed a problematic trend in the statements that came from William Stevens. Stevens strangely could never identify anything that Pedro was wearing — ever! He couldn’t identify what Pedro was wearing, of course, because he never saw Pedro commit these crimes. He was simply told to sign the statements or was forced to pick Pedro’s face out of a photo lineup and sign a statement saying that it was Pedro who robbed him. On the days William Stevens claimed to be robbed or attacked by Pedro, Gomez proved through security camera footage that Pedro had on some of the loudest, most distinct, and noticeable outfits a kid could ever own. Any person robbed by Pedro would’ve noticed his extremely distinct clothing long before they’d recognize his face.

But again, it was actual eyewitnesses that tanked this desperate attempt by the NYPD and the Bronx DA’s office to ruin Pedro’s life for a crime he didn’t commit.

At the exact time police faked a robbery of William Stevens and his backpack stuffed with $5,000, Pedro was getting a haircut at his local barbershop. His barber, Jose Baez, who is a well known member of that community, completed an affidavit stating that Pedro was actually in the barbershop before, during, and after the time police claimed he robbed William at gunpoint.

Here’s Jose Baez completing the affidavit.

Not only that, but Pedro and his girlfriend were sending messages back and forth on Facebook the entire night — right at the time Pedro was supposed to be robbing someone at gunpoint.

Guess what happened to that case? After Pedro again spent time behind bars, after his mother again bailed him out, after Manuel Gomez again scrambled to find out what really happened, all charges were dismissed five months later on November 3rd, 2016. Of course they were — the entire ordeal never happened. Police and prosecutors made it up and William Stevens has openly admitted he agreed to their fake story because they threatened him with violence or prosecution if he didn’t sign off on it.

Here’s a copy of that dismissal as well:

Dismissal of the fake armed robbery of William Stevens

Let’s do a fresh recap.

  1. Tyrese Revels is shot on July 12th, 2015. Pedro was arrested for it on July 14th, 2015. All charges were dismissed against Pedro on February 29th, 2016
  2. Someone, somewhere gets shot at on September 12th, 2015. Pedro gets arrested that same day. All charges were dismissed on May 4th, 2016.
  3. On March 1st, 2016 Pedro was arrested for the attempted murder of William Stevens. All charges were dismissed on September 6th, 2016.
  4. On May 3rd, 2016, police falsely arrested Pedro Hernandez for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. All charges were dismissed.
  5. On June 7th, 2016, police falsely arrested Pedro Hernandez for the armed robbery of William Stevens. All charges were dismissed on November 3rd, 2016.

It’s hard for me to even form my fingers to type what’s next, but after being brutally beaten in jail and charged over and over and over and over and over again (that’s five times) with life-altering crimes that he did not commit, the worst had not yet happened to Pedro. It’s unfathomable to believe that this story could get any lower at this point, but it does.

The False Arrest of Pedro Hernandez for the Attempted Murder of Shawn Nardoni :: July 14th, 2016

Police in the 42nd Precinct have a vendetta against Pedro Hernandez. Never have they tried so hard to pin so many crimes against an innocent human being — only for him to beat charge after charge.

Please allow me to remind you that we are talking about a child. He is a kid. And the only reason we even know Pedro’s name, the only reason he has been able to beat so many cases, is because his mother, Jessica Perez, is a smart, fierce, determined, resourceful fighter. She’ll never stop fighting. As a younger woman, she actually came close to joining the NYPD herself, and even took the initial test required of new recruits, but ultimately decided to go in a different direction with her life. Still though, she loves the law. She studies it. She’s a meticulous keeper of records. She knows every fact, every detail, every name, every face, every twist and turn of Pedro’s case by heart. She has bailed him out of jail every single time. She has been there to meet him at the door when he has been released. She has been there every step of the way. She found Private Investigator Manuel Gomez, tracked him down, and used the last of her savings to hire him. In fact, it was her friend, who found a friend of mine, who found a way to get in touch with me. And the only reason Pedro has been able to endure so much injustice, and all of the trauma that comes along with it, is because his mother has been there to make sure that he knows she will never stop fighting for his full freedom. I’m not sure Pedro would be alive without her fierce, relentless love and support.

Jessica and Pedro all the way back in 2004

At around 9pm on September 1st, 2015, a young kid, 15-year-old Shawn Nardoni, was shot in the leg in The Bronx. Pedro did not shoot Shawn Nardoni or have anything to do with the shooting. As I will detail below, multiple eyewitnesses have actually identified the shooter. He was a known menace in the community and looks as much unlike Pedro as another human being could look. Strangely, for the rest of 2015, police did nothing about the shooting. Fall passed, winter passed, spring passed, then, a full ten and a half months after Shawn Nardoni was shot, Pedro Hernandez was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Shawn Nardoni on July 14th, 2016.

This time, though, police and prosecutors were going to go out of their way to make sure that they made Pedro and his family suffer. First, Assistant District Attorney David Slott asked the bail for Pedro to be set at an astounding $250,000 and for the family to be required to pay all of it, instead of the typical 10%, for him to be released. Such an outrageous condition is typically reserved for drug kingpins or dangerous criminals who present a significant flight risk. As a part of his petition to the court to increase the bail, Assistant District Attorney David Slott referenced “crimes” committed by Pedro which were eventually dismissed. In other words, Slott used previous bogus charges for the judge to increase the bail on a new bogus charge. Judge Steven Barrett, of course, agreed to the terms. Seven different public defenders in The Bronx told me that he was the most vicious judge in all of New York City — and that he basically functions as an extension of the Bronx DA’s Office.

Then, instead of being sent to one of dozens of different youth facilities, Pedro was deliberately sent to the notorious Rikers Island. For the first time in his life, his mother was unable to bail him out and he was about to enter one of the most dangerous jails in America. With a bail so artificially high, he’d be stuck there indefinitely, like Kalief Browder, at the mercy of prosecutors. Rikers has always been an unchecked hell hole of brutality and abuse from guards and inmates alike. It was no different for Pedro. Caught between rival gangs and brutal guards, he was forced to defend himself on multiple occasions and was even sprayed in the face with industrial grade pepper spray by a guard who then denied him any method of washing it out for over six hours — which badly damaged Pedro’s vision and is why you may see him wearing glasses in more recent photos — all, again, for a crime he didn’t commit.

The Shooting of Shawn Nardoni

Shooting victim Shawn Nardoni

On the evening of July 14th, 2015, Shawn Nardoni was indeed shot in the leg and many people saw exactly who shot him — Charles “CJ” Holmes. A young mother, Niudezaile Beltran, witnessed the shooting as she was exiting the grocery store with her two year old baby. She describes a fight that broke out among a crowd, and Charles “CJ” Holmes pulling out a black handgun and firing it. She completed a sworn affidavit with this same statement. Here she is in her own words.

Another witness, Odalis Rafel Germosen, saw the shooting as well. Here he is, in his own words.

In addition to the two previous witnesses, Dramane Tounkara, who was right next to the shooting when it happened, positively identified the shooter as Charles “CJ” Holmes and confirmed that Pedro Hernandez had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting.

Futhermore, in his sworn affidavit, Dramane Tounkara stated that he saw “CJ pull out a black gun and shoot into the crowd at least one time…the shooter was CJ. I clearly saw him.”

Witness after witness says Charles “CJ” Holmes shot Shawn Nardoni. He should’ve been arrested immediately, but police in the 42nd Precinct had no interest whatsoever in arresting him. Instead, they immediately saw this as an opportunity to pin yet another crime on Pedro Hernandez. You have to listen to what Shawn Nardoni, the shooting victim, says happened. After spending three days in the hospital recovering from the gunshot to his leg, guess who paid him a visit? You guessed it — Detective David Terrell.

Instead of offering any kind of sympathy to a 15 year old boy who had just been shot, Detective Terrell forced Nardoni to go to the 42nd Precinct. He did the same thing to shooting victim Tyrese Revels. Once there, Terrell literally threatened to bash Nardoni’s head against the wall if he didn’t lie and say that it was Pedro who shot him. When Shawn Nardoni refused to lie, police in the 42nd Precinct actually arrested him and kept him in jail for three days. And this kid had just been shot! All charges, of course, were eventually dismissed. Here is Shawn Nardoni, the shooting victim, in his own words, seen for the very first time.

Shawn Nardoni speaking out about being asked to lie on Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez did not shoot Shawn Nardoni. CJ Holmes shot him.

This is Charles “CJ Holmes.

Charles “CJ” Holmes.

At least seven different witnesses have gone on the record to say that they saw Charles “CJ” Holmes shoot Shawn Nardoni, but police were so determined to pin in it on Pedro Hernandez that they began compiling false witnesses against him.

William Stevens has openly admitted (see video interview above) that he gave in when Detective David Terrell, Detective Daniel Brady, and Assistant District Attorney David Slott threatened him if he didn’t falsely testify against Pedro. Here are his words, given in a sworn affidavit, on how he was forced to give false testimony against Pedro Hernandez nearly a year after Shawn Nardoni was shot.

I was sleeping. When again I heard a loud banging noise at my door. Again Detective Brady and Detective Terrell forced their way into my house without a warrant — scaring my whole family. Detective Brady came into my room and pulled the sheets off of me and said “you have to come down to the precinct.” Brady then said “we are going to show you some pictures about something that happened to your friend.” I kept telling Brady and Terrell that “I don’t know what you are talking about.” While I was in the car, Terrell said “you should already know what this is about.”

When I got to the 42nd Precinct, Brady and Terrell took me to the same room. Terrell then slammed papers on the desk and said, “This is for your good. Don’t lie to me. Terrell then showed me a paper with only one picture on it — which was Pedro Hernandez. He then said “Detective Brady’s going to ask you questions regarding an incident that happened.” I told him “I don’t know anything. I was in the park. I don’t know what you are talking about.” Then Brady said, “This is your neighborhood, you should know what goes on in this area.” Brady then put the picture with Pedro Hernandez in front of me and said, “You should sign this.”

I told him, “Why am I signing this if I don’t know this person?” Brady said, “If you don’t sign the paper picking Pedro, this person could shoot someone else, then we are going to come fuck you up.” Out of fear I signed the paper because I didn’t want the police harassing me. So I was forced to sign and pick out Pedro when I had never seen him before.

Detective Brady then said, “Give me five or ten minutes and I will let you go.” Brady then took me to the side and said “get the fuck out of here.” A couple of weeks later I received a letter ordering me to go to the District Attorney’s Office. I saw the ADA with the pony tail. He was white, skinny, with black hair. He showed me the paper I signed with Pedro’s picture on it and said, “Do you know him?” I said “I don’t know him.” The ADA then said, “why did you sign it if you don’t know him” I said “I signed it out of fear because I didn’t want the cops harassing me and my family.”

He said I was going to be a witness to what Pedro did. I told him “I didn’t know anything. Why am I going to be a witness?” The ADA then said, “I’ll have Terrell stop coming to your house to harass you if you testify to be a witness. He kept me in the office for 2 hours trying to convince me to testify against Pedro. The Assistant District Attorney then said if I don’t testify he will have Officer Terrell go to my house all the time until I agree to testify against someone I don’t know. I then walked out the room to go home.

The ADA then walked out of his office and stood in front of his door and said “you are going to regret this. You are going to have problems now.” I then got in the elevator and went home.

Terrell would then stop and frisk me and harass me every time he saw me. Terrell would pull my pants down in the street and pull them up sometimes really hard to give me a painful wedgy. This happened to me in public more than 20 times.

I will testify in court regarding this statement.

Three weeks ago, while investigating this corruption in The Bronx, I was with private investigator Manuel Gomez when we were introduced to a brilliant young man named Aaron Prince, who we were told had been falsely arrested by Detective David Terrell for a crime he didn’t commit.

Unlike many of Terrell’s victims across the years, Aaron Prince has been able to put many of the broken pieces of his life back together again for some semblance of normalcy. Prince is a proud young father and works full-time as counselor at an area summer camp in The Bronx. He’s not trying to beat a case. He doesn’t have charges pending. He is a man who would love to move on with his life, but can’t. What Brady, Terrell, and Slott made him do haunts him to this very day.

After falsely arresting Aaron Prince alongside thirty other children, the trio of Brady, Terrell, and Assistant District Attorney Slott did to Aaron Prince what they did to William Stevens — they threatened him with jail time and physical violence if he didn’t sign papers saying he saw Pedro Hernandez shoot Shawn Nardoni.

Mind you, Aaron Prince doesn’t even know Pedro. Here’s Aaron Prince, in his own words, admitting he was forced to falsely identify Pedro Hernandez in the shooting of Shawn Nardoni.

Of course, all charges were dropped against Aaron Prince.

Yet another young man, who was also arrested on false charges that were later dismissed, told Sarah Wallace of WNBC that police from the 42nd Precinct forced him to lie about the shooting of Shawn Nardoni as well — demanding that he pin it on Pedro when the young man knew that Pedro had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Detectives Terrell and Brady weren’t done. They tried to get teenager Ramzy Faisal to lie on Pedro Hernandez as well. Like others, Ramzy had never even met Pedro before. Still, Terrell physically abused Ramzy, hitting him across his head, and threatened that if he didn’t sign a statement against Pedro that they’d make sure he got more jail time. Here is Ramzy, in his own words, on the abuse from the 42nd Precinct:

Detectives Terrell and Brady tried the same thing with Myshawn Chester. Here he is in his own words:

As you can see, Detectives Terrell and Brady were running a racket in which they would round up and arrest kids, then threaten them with physical violence or jail time, and then use the pressure from those things to attempt to get the kids to lie on one another. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. But this much is clear, their corruption, backed by Assistant District Attorney David Slott, nearly cost Pedro Hernandez his life and still could.

In spite of all of this evidence already being handed over to the District Attorney’s Office and to the NYPD, Detectives Terrell and Brady remain on the force. Because of a case of domestic violence, Terrell has been reassigned to a local court house, but Brady remains an active detective in the 42nd Precinct. Both men are still on the force and ADA David Slott continues to prosecute cases and remains the Lead Prosecutor on the Pedro Hernandez case. Not only should he be removed from Pedro’s case immediately, every case he’s ever touched should be thrown out. That’s ADA David Slott on the left in the photo below.

Notice at Pedro’s most recent court appearance that they forced him to attend court in shackles while wearing protective mittens on his hands like he is Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. “I think I’ve only seen that one other time in my entire life,” said a seasoned New York crime reporter with over 30 years on the job. “And that person really was a real life Hannibal Lecter.” At every single turn, police and prosecutors have intended to demean and dehumanize Pedro Hernandez.

Perhaps nothing made their true intentions with Pedro clearer than what police in the 42nd Precinct did to his mother.

The False Arrest of Jessica Perez — Mother of Pedro Hernandez

Having already falsely arrested and charged her son seven different times, police from the 42nd Precinct then turned their attention to Pedro’s mother, Jessica. Having never been arrested in her 37 years on earth, police pulled Jessica over — first claiming that she ran a yellow light, then saying it may have been red. In the car were her three youngest children — including her breastfed baby. As Jessica continued to ask them why they pulled her over, she actually demanded that they give her a breathalyzer, but they refused. She remained calm and cool throughout the entire ordeal, but her brother, who was filming from the sidewalk, was clearly irate to see his sister being harassed.

Then, without explanation, police asked Jessica to get out of the car, and placed her under arrest — where they charged her with deliberately endangering her children. It was all a complete lie. Here’s the video — seen for the first time publicly.

Here’s Jessica in her own words,

I stopped at the corner store in my car to buy milk. As I parked in front of the building, police pulled up behind me and turn on their lights. As my son, Luis, who was 13 at the time, was getting out of the car to get bags out of the trunk, Sergeant Chen rushed over, with gun in hand, and slammed the car door on his leg, yelling “get back in the car.” Another detective approached my window and told me get out of the vehicle with his gun in his hand. I then asked him why am I being stopped and why do you need me to get out of the vehicle?

The officer started to get louder. Since I was by myself with my babies, I proceeded to get out of the car for the sake of my children. Police took me to the rear of my vehicle and continued to confusingly fumble over why they had pulled me over in the first place. By this time several police cars and unmarked vehicles were out there. Thankfully my brother came out and began filming.

Then right there in front of my kids, for no reason whatsoever, other than to humiliate and intimidate my entire family, they put me in handcuffs and took me away from my babies. I’m crying now even thinking about all of this.

For two whole days they kept me in jail as my baby had to cry herself to sleep. I couldn’t breastfeed her or pump milk. They didn’t feed me and forced me to use the restroom right there with the door open. And guess who was there, harassing me the entire time? Detective David Terrell. He even pulled me out of the cell and took me to a private office and began sexually harassing me before I demanded he take me back.

Instead of just letting me go, they actually transferred me to another jail, took me through processing, and even filed a child abuse report with the Office of Children and Family Services against me.

Nearly two years after they falsely arrested Jessica Perez, all charges were finally dropped and dismissed just a few months ago. This has been hanging over her head for years. Here’s a copy of the dismissal.

Dismissal for false charges against Jessica Perez

The Department of Children and Family Services ran their child abuse investigation as well and determined that the charges of child abuse were completely “unfounded.” Their determination letter is below. Notice that the letter still states that a file on Jessica will remain open and won’t be expunged for at least ten years. The police knew this when they reported these false charges in the first place.

Dismissal from Children and Family Services regarding false child abuse charges on Jessica Perez

Earlier this summer, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark offered Pedro Hernandez a plea deal. Still at Rikers, she offered to release Pedro on time served if he’d simply take a guilty plea. Boldy, he refused. That refusal took more courage and more guts than most of us will have in our entire lives. Clark presented the offer like it was generous, but in the words of Malcolm X, “sticking a 9 inch knife in my back and pulling out 3 inches isn’t progress.” No child should ever have their freedom dangled in front of their face in exchange for a crime they didn’t commit.

While the story of Pedro Hernandez might be brand new to us, he knew full well that if he took a guilty plea in this case that it would only be a matter of time before they framed him on something else, then something else, and something else. Jessica told me that on many different occasions while Pedro was in Rikers he told her that he wanted to die. I don’t blame him. The pressure of having a corrupt multi-billion dollar “justice” system on your back would cause any of us to buckle. Combine that with the daily threat of violence from police and inmates alike, Pedro’s story is one of human endurance and the will to live in the face of outrageous injustice.

If you’ve made it this far, good.

Now take these 4 action steps:

  1. Contact the Bronx DA’s Office @: 718–590–2000 to report this injustice directly to DA Darcel Clark and to the Public Integrity Division @: 718–838–7528. Demand that they dismiss this case against Pedro Hernandez and immediately investigate ADA David Slott and the officers involved.
  2. Copy and paste the following tweet on Twitter or write your own: Dear @NYCMayor & @NYGovCuomo & @AGSchneiderman & @NYPDONeill /// What do you have to say about this?
  3. Retweet this and share this on Facebook. We need this to go viral.
  4. Text and email this story to every single person you know.