A U.S. District Court jury awarded the damages Friday to David Ayers, 56, after finding that two Cleveland police detectives violated his civil rights by helping prosecute him for the 1999 beating death of Dorothy Brown, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.
DNA tests on a pubic hair found in Brown's mouth proved it did not come from Ayers. Cuyahoga County prosecutors dropped the case against him in 2011, the newspaper said.
The former Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police officer sobbed when the verdict came down in his favor.
"This should have been stopped along time ago," Ayers said. "My goal is that it never happens to anyone else ever again."