Man held at Rikers Island for two years without charges

Man Held In Rikers Jail For 2 Years Without Charges
Man Held In Rikers Jail For 2 Years Without Charges

New York City awarded a $1 million settlement to a man who spent two years in jail without being charged with a crime.

Police put Russell Hernandez behind bars on Rikers Island in 2006 to make sure he testified against two gang members who robbed and beat him in 2004... but he never got the chance to testify at a trial *and* he spent more time in jail than his attackers.

The perpetrators ended up pleading guilty and received 5 years probation.

Hernandez told the New York Daily News that during his time on Rikers Island he wrote letters to multiple elected officials, including then U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton and then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who was the only one to write back.

He says Cuomo urged him to cooperate with the district attorney and talk with a lawyer.

"I sat in Rikers Island for two years and I wasn't accused of a crime. Nobody would believe me. The guards and the prisoners thought I was a spy or a snitch because when they looked me up on the computer there was no charge against me."

Another man went through a similar ordeal when he was just 17-years-old.

Kalief Browder was featured in The New Yorker after he was held for three years on Rikers Island. He was actually charged with stealing a backpack, but he was never convicted.

More on AOL:
Plane crash kills 150 people in French Alps; Europe in shock
New police video shows Secret Service SUV nudge barrier
CDC: 11M fewer uninsured since passage of Obama's law