FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - A Black D.C. firefighter has been released from prison after the arresting officer was accused of lying about what happened during a traffic stop with evidence revealing the incident was racially motivated.
The Virginia Department of Corrections notified FOX 5's Sierra Fox shortly after 7 p.m. that Elon Wilson was officially a free man after leaving the Nottoway Work Center.
Wilson was pulled over in 2018 by Officer Jonathan Freitag who claimed Wilson crossed the solid yellow line and had windows tinted darker than the legal limit.
Freitag later admitted the car never went over the yellow line and he never tested Wilson's window.
Wilson was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison for possession of drugs and guns.
Tuesday night, Judge Daniel Ortiz released his opinion letter on the matter, saying in part, "Wilson’s petition to Vacate Judgement is granted. Wilson’s conviction is vacated, and he shall be released from prison."
Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Descano has been working to get Wilson out of prison, saying there is doubt that he is guilty of anything at all.
"The only reason that he plead guilty is because the culture in office and it threatened Mr. Wilson with mandatory sentences that were more than 10 years," said Descano. "Every day since I learned about the situation, Mr. Wilson’s been in my head, in my heart, and I’m proud that we’re one step closer to having him back in the community."
The Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney learned the arresting officer, Jonathan Freitag, lied about why he pulled over Wilson’s car and had a history of racially-motivated traffic stops. Now, they are reviewing 400 additional cases involving the officer because authorities do not believe they can trust any of the work he did in Fairfax County.
Freitag is also under federal investigation. He resigned from the Fairfax County Police Department three years ago and has not been charged with any crime.