Clara Hill is certain the boys didn’t kill anybody. She has known since she was 14 years old – almost three decades ago. But when she tried to tell police the truth, she says, they hurt her.
It was the spring of 1987, when Hill was seized by the Detroit Police Department and dragged to a dark room to be questioned about the murder of a young man named Leonard Ruffin, shot to death in front of a crack house in the West Side of the city. Three of Hill’s teenage friends, who managed the crack house with Ruffin, were being accused of plotting his murder. But Hill insisted that this wasn’t true. She was with them at the time. But it didn’t matter.
Police refused to believe her version of events, Hill told The Intercept. “They harassed me, they assaulted me, and then they terrorized me. They put me in a damn closet. They waited until I urinated on myself. And I sat in that urination for hours, do you hear me? I don’t even know how long I was in that building. … All I know is it was dark.”
Hill says the cops wanted her to pin Ruffin’s murder on her friends, who were connected to the biggest players in Detroit’s crack cocaine business. Despite the abuse, Hill says, she never budged. Eventually, after her father went to the police station to look for his daughter, detectives removed her from the dark room and dropped her off at her parent’s home, warning her that they would be watching.