Family claims CMPD arrested an innocent man for robberies - | WBTV Charlotte

Family claims CMPD arrested an innocent man for robberies

Gwendolyn Chambers and WBTV's Dedrick Russell (Shaun Donithan | WBTV) Gwendolyn Chambers and WBTV's Dedrick Russell (Shaun Donithan | WBTV)

A family claims officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) arrested an innocent man. Gwendolyn Chambers says police charged her fiancé, David Thomas, with two armed robberies and kidnapping.

"I think it's messed up," Chambers said. "I think they need to get some stuff straight, because the way it's going - just locking up people from tips and random and you don't have evidence - that's wrong."

The fiancé claims that during one robbery Thomas was at home and that during another robbery Thomas was at work. She believes if police checked those stories out, Thomas would not have been arrested. At one point police showed Thomas' picture and told the community they caught their man.

"I think it was humiliating," Chambers said. "Put him on TV. Humiliated his name and embarrassed his family and his children. It's crazy."

Chambers remembers the day police arrested Thomas.

"They pulled us over," Chambers said. "They just drug him out the back of the car - was asking him his name and put him in handcuffs. An officer walked up and said this is him and locked him up."

Thursday, the family says the District Attorney's Office dismissed all charges, citing there was not enough evidence to move forward. The DA's office told WBTV charges are still pending while the family says they received an email from a CMPD detective stating the case has been dismissed.

CMPD says physical evidence and information gathered led police to Thomas. The family thinks something needs to happen if police information leads to an innocent man.

"I want to see it changed," Chambers said. "We have a lot of innocent people in jail off of what police say they got."

The family is now working with the founder of True Healing Under God (T.H.U.G.), John Barnette.

"I respect the police," Barnette said, "but they need more training."

Barnette says he will connect the family with a lawyer about this case. He questions why Thomas has not been released yet if the DA has dismissed charges. Thomas has been sitting in jail for days.

"They quickly lock you up," Barnette said, "and not quick to let you out."

The family says this ordeal is becoming too much for Thomas.

"He's humiliated," Chambers said. "He's frustrated because his job is on the line."

The family says Thomas doesn't have a criminal record. They were told Thomas should be released by Friday.

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