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Detroit Man While Family Waits 46 Minutes for Ambulance

Dwight Love (c.)

Dwight Love (c.)

By Kate Abbey-Lambertz 

Before Dwight Love died at his daughter’s home in Detroit, he was grievously wronged by the system — twice.

After he collapsed in front of daughter Letrisica Day’s home, she called 911 four times, according to an exclusive WJBK-TV report. Forty-six minutes went by before EMS showed up.

Day and a neighbor carried her dad inside, according to the local Fox affiliate. She initially felt a pulse while she waited for emergency responders.

By then, it was too late: Love was dead.

The city had 19 units running, all which were busy when she called 911, and the first one available took 14 minutes to arrive. Interim Detroit Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson told WJBK, “We want to do better.”

Love, who was in his 50s when he died, had already lost years of his life. Wrongfully convicted of murder in 1982, he served 16 years of a life sentence before he was exonerated, according to the 2011 ACLU report “Faces of Failing Public Defense Systems: Portraits of Michigan’s Constitutional Crisis.”

A man was shot to death outside Love’s apartment in Detroit while he was sleeping with his girlfriend on a September night in 1981. Though he did not match the physical description given by a witness, Love was put in a lineup and identified as the shooter. That was the prosecution’s only evidence.

A jury in Third Judicial Circuit Court convicted Love of first-degree murder and assault in 1982, but Love worked to get his case overturned. Years later an attorney discovered the prosecution withheld evidence that someone else had confessed to the crime.

”I don’t have the words to say how I feel,” Love told The Detroit News in 2001. He was eventually released in 1998 after the case was thrown out in 1997, but prosecutors filed a new case that wasn’t dismissed until four years later. ”It’s been a nightmare. I guess I can start living my life now.”

He was free for 16 years before he died.

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