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December 15, 2018

NYC inmate who fought jail staff over a wheelchair for 3 1/2 years acquitted of drug charges

November 30, 2018
A Manhattan jury acquitted (Left) Rasaun Bullock of drug charges after he spent 3 1/2 year in jail fighting jail officials over a wheelchair. (Handout)

A Manhattan jury acquitted a Harlem man on drug charges Thursday — finally clearing his name and ending a 3 ½ year struggle over his need to use a wheelchair.

Rasaun Bullock, 43, who says he has a spinal condition that makes it impossible for him to walk, was thrown in jail after an April 16, 2015 arrest on a drug possession charge.




Cops nabbed the Harlem man as he sat near a cup filled with 26 bags of crack cocaine in front of a New York City Housing building.

He always denied any connection to the drugs, since any plea deals with the Special Narcotics Office required an admission of guilt.

Bullock’s criminal case also dragged on for years because he argued that he should be able to use a wheelchair because of his spinal injury — an injury that city doctors said they didn’t believe was real.

At least 12 times, Bullock held up proceedings by refusing to appear in court without a wheelchair.

He also changed lawyers four times and appears to suffer from some form of mental illness, according to court documents.

But on Thursday, the jury deliberated for about an hour before finding him innocent of the drug charges — finally setting him free. Jail officials finally agreed to bring him to court in a wheelchair after the Daily News highlighted his case earlier this month.

“I teared up,” said Bullock’s lawyer, Adam Konta. “I was so happy for him.”

“To be in jail for that long with evidence that was so thin … it was one of the happiest acquittals I’ve in able to get a client of mine.”

During Bullock’s trial, his lawyer pointed out that another woman had also been sitting near the drugs in 2015 when cops arrested his client. That woman was smoking a synthetic marijuana joint but was never arrested, Konta said.

“Even the arresting off admitted the only evidence was proximity,” Konta said. “That’s not enough to prove possession.”

In jail, Konta has made multiple accusations of serious abuse against correction officers. None of the allegations have been substantiated.

But he was hit with 88 infractions for bad behavior during his stay, records show.

Bullock and his supporters say jail officers were upset at him because of his complex medical needs and repeated pleas for assistance.

A spokeswoman for the Special Narcotics Office indicated there was no plan to appeal the jury’s decision.




“The court and relevant city agencies facilitated the defendant’s appearance at trial and the proceedings were conducted in an orderly manner,” said Kati Cornell. “The jury was able to evaluate the evidence presented and we respect their verdict.”

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