Man Suing NYPD Over Wrongful Arrest For Breath Mints
A Brooklyn man is suing the NYPD after cops busted him in April for what they suspected were drugs. The man claims that while attempting to alert the police he was actually carrying breath mints, he was still arrested for possession of Ecstasy.
Robert Hankins, 46, says he was in Brooklyn back in April when he was stopped and frisked by officer Sean Nurse and other unnamed officers. Nurse went through Hankins’ pockets and discovered the mints, arresting him on the spot. According to a report from Courthouse News, Hankins explained what he was carrying but the cops thought otherwise
From Courthouse News Service:
“Mr. Hankins explained to the officers that what they had found were mints and not drugs and asked the officers look at and smell them to confirm,” the lawsuit states. “The officers refused to do so.”
Again at the 79th Precinct Hankins tried to explain to officers that he had been arrested for possession of mints, but officers filed bogus paperwork falsely stating they saw him in possession of MDMA, or Ecstasy, Hankins claims.
After being held for 30 hours and released, Hankins appeared in court several times since the arrest. With the charges finally getting dropped this October, Hankins’ lawsuit against the NYPD was filed last week and he is seeking punitive damages for civil rights violations, unlawful stop and search and false arrest.
To make matters worse, Nurse made the assumption that the mints were drugs based on “professional training” he received according to The Smoking Gun.
The NYPD has yet to comment.
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