Two Illinois brothers, who went on a celebratory trip to Florida with their father, ended up spending “33 long, miserable days” in jail without any charge after they were arrested on suspicion of committing armed robberies despite maintaining their innocence.
Prior to their arrests, 18-year-old Shyquawn McNickles and his 20-year-old brother, Carl, had no criminal records, according to CBS 2. But that changed just hours after they arrived in Miami Beach to celebrate Shyquawn’s birthday. And though authorities did not bring any charges against the brothers after they were kept in custody for that long, the incident cost Carl his athletic scholarship at William Penn University.
“My whole life, I’ve been trying to just stay out of trouble – like nothing at all involving police – and then this happens,” Carl told the news outlet.
The incident unfolded around midnight after the brothers had parted ways with their father to celebrate Shyquawn’s birthday with their friends following their arrival in Florida. Hours later, however, Carl’s girlfriend called the boys’ father to inform him his sons had been arrested and were being held on suspicion of committing two armed robberies.
Shyquawn recalled the police pulled up with their “guns out” and told them they were going to open fire if they moved. “I was trying to tell the officers that I didn’t do it – that is no me that you’re looking for,” Carl also recalled telling the officers when they showed up.
Even though the police said the brothers were persons of interest in the robbery incidents, the boy’s parents and their attorney Tony Moss said they noticed some inconsistencies in the arrest reports. And one of them was the description of the supposed robbers by one of the victims. It stated the suspects were “five Black males, wearing all black clothing, with black ski masks covering their faces.”
However, the clothes the brothers were wearing at the time of their arrest included multicolored footwear, a bright-colored T-shirt as well as ripped jeans, CBS 2 reported. “You would think that Stevie Wonder would have noticed that detail,” Moss said, adding that no items linking the boys to the robberies were also found by authorities.
The brothers were eventually released after prosecutors decided they weren’t going to press charges last week. That notwithstanding, the brothers still have that arrest on their records and they have to pursue clearing their names. Also, the boys’ father said they cannot afford Carl’s fees at William Penn following the termination of his scholarship as a result of the arrest. He also added his sons’ arrest and detention were racially motivated.
“I hope they find a good attorney and sue the hell out of the Miami Beach Police Department,” Moss said. Per Florida state law, suspects can be held in custody for up to 33 days without any charge(s).