Former Wu-Tang Clan studio employee, Grant Williams, who was wrongfully convicted in a 1996 killing, was recently awarded $7 million from NYC.
According to news reports, Williams won the amount after suing the city because he spent 23 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
He was previously accused in the fatal ’96 shooting of Shdell Lewis outside Staten Island housing project Stapleton Houses. Lewis was reportedly hit in the torso by a man wearing a black outfit and later died at a local hospital.
Williams’ conviction arrived after alleged eye-witnesses claimed he was the shooter even though no credible evidence proved it was him. Police also connected a Wu-Tang Clan baseball hat to the now-51-year-old, which the gunman reportedly dropped at the scene.
Williams has been out on parole since 2019, and two years later, in 2021, he was exonerated.
After being cleared of all charges, he filed a claim alleging that he dealt with civil rights violations and police misconduct. The NYC comptroller’s office then chose to settle his claim outside of court.
“This will assist him in going forward and trying to get back on his feet,” his attorney, Irving Cohen, said.
Cohen added that NYC “did the right thing” by reaching a settlement quickly and said the state also settled a separate claim from Williams for $5 million.
“While no amount of money can bring those years back for Mr. Williams or his family, I am pleased that we were able to move quickly to a fair and early resolution of this claim,” New York City Comptroller Brad Lander Lander said in a statement. The early resolution of this claim is in the best interests of all parties and city taxpayers.”
At a press conference, Williams told reporters that he was glad he can “clear his name.”
“I told you I was innocent,” he said. “I’m glad I can clear my name, and I hope the world knows now [including] the COs that were locked up with me.”
His bestfriend, iconic Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah, expressed his relief about Williams’ great news.
“Glad it’s over now. It’s like a ton of bricks being lifted,” he said at the press conference.