• Reggie Clemons was not accused of pushing the Kerry sisters into the Mississippi. The main witness against him, Thomas Cummins, testified that he saw a black hand push his cousins into the river but failed to specify whose hand that was. Yet in the separate trial of co-defendant Antonio Richardson, Cummins said that it was Richardson who pushed the women into the river. • Clemons confessed to raping Robin Kerry, but did not confess to murder. He was found guilty of murder as an accomplice. • Two days after Clemons made the confession, he retracted it. He told St Louis police internal affairs officers that he had been beaten, punched in the chest and had his head slammed against the wall. He alleged that after hours of being assaulted he agreed to read out a confession that police officers had written in advance, because if he had refused to do so they would have beat me some more . • Police photos show that Clemons looked physically fit when he was first picked up by police, but after his was interrogated he was reported by several witnesses to have a swollen right cheek. When he came before a judge for arraignment, the judge sent him to the local hospital ER for examination, where he was diagnosed with muscle inflammation and a swollen face. • Clemons s claims of police brutality were strikingly similar to independent complaints of police beatings made by his co-defendant Marlin Gray and by Thomas Cummins, the main prosecution witness against him, even though the three men had no contact with each other. All three sets of complaints related to interrogations that occurred within the same police station involving the same alleged techniques of assault, and all within the same 48-hour time span.
Southern Poverty Law Center
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