New York City lawyer Rico Law said he is planning to file a class action lawsuit against the city of New York, alleging that the city’s police department is violating his constitutional rights and violating the Second Amendment by arresting him without cause for possession of a gun.
Law, who is running for the seat in the 8th Congressional District, told New York magazine he was planning to sue the NYPD, the state’s attorney general, and city council member Mark Levine, who chairs the city council.
“They’ve made it clear that they’re not going to prosecute me, and I’m not going forward with a lawsuit,” Law said in an interview.
“I have been told that if you’re an attorney you should never go after the city or the state of New Yorkers,” he said.
Law is a lawyer by training and a former deputy chief of the city department’s Criminal Investigation Division.
He has been in the profession for 18 years and is the president of the Criminal Defense Law Association of New England.
Law was one of more than 100 plaintiffs who sued the city last year in a lawsuit alleging the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk policies violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit alleged that the policy resulted in the arrests of thousands of people without probable cause.
Law said he was unaware that the police department has a policy that requires officers to show reasonable suspicion before they will issue a search warrant.
“If you can’t prove reasonable suspicion that there is a criminal, it doesn’t matter what color the shirt, what color shoes you’re wearing,” Law told New Times.
“If you don’t have probable cause to search, they’ll stop you and arrest you, no questions asked.”
Law said that as a lawyer who works for a law firm, he had no idea how the police force would operate without a warrant.
In the past, law enforcement officials have used stop-or-fright tactics to arrest people for not displaying their identification cards, which are required for some searches, but which the police rarely use.
Law has been charged with assaulting a police officer in a 2013 incident in which he allegedly grabbed the neck of a man who was arrested for allegedly being drunk.
He was convicted in that case.