WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- New York law firm Tilem & Associates, PC announced today that they have filed three separate but related legal actions against the New York City Police Department alleging the existence of racial bias by the NYPD License Division in the issuance and revocation of gun licenses. Two law suits filed in New York State Supreme Court seek to annul NYPD License Division decisions revoking and denying licenses and a third law suit filed in Federal Court seeks monetary and other damages for civil rights violations in Pistol License Decisions. The Two law suits in State Court were filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan under Index numbers 152341/2018 and 151785/2018 respectively. The Federal suit pending before Judge Denise L. Cote is filed under 18-cv-02781-DLC.
In one case, as outlined in the complaint, an NYPD Detective testified under oath at a revocation hearing that he considered dismissed arrests as one of the reasons for revoking an African-American man's gun licenses. According to the complaint, the dismissed arrests in question were two false arrests for which the license holder sued the NYPD and settled for substantial monetary settlements.
After being contacted by many African-Americans who either were denied gun licenses or had gun licenses revoked based upon dismissed arrests, Tilem & Associates lawyers contacted the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and obtained statistics that demonstrate that between calendar year 2010 and 2016 African-Americans had arrests dismissed or had prosecutors refuse to prosecute their cases at twice the rate of Whites. In fact, in 2016 almost one quarter, 23%, of arrests of African-Americans were disposed of either by dismissal or because of refusal of the District Attorney's Office to prosecute. These statistics are outlined in the lawsuits and are appended as exhibits to the Court filings.
Therefore, as the law suits allege, according to DCJS statistics, any use of dismissed arrests by the NYPD in making firearms licensing decisions will disproportionately and unfairly affect African-Americans who have just as much right to possess firearms as other racial groups.
Devon Thomas the Petitioner and Plaintiff in two of the actions who is a licensed security officer that had his pistol license revoked by the NYPD stated: "It has been a history of unfair treatment, I just want to be treated equally."
Peter Tilem, Esq., the attorney who filed the law suit stated: "The US Supreme Court has stated that firearms possession is a Constitutional right. Currently, at least 41 States have "shall issue" concealed carry laws, in which objective standards exist for the issuance of gun licenses. New York is one of only 9 states left that issues licenses based upon the whim of the licensing officer. This discretion, we believe, has resulted in a history of cronyism and bribery and now appears to be fraught with racial bias."
Tilem & Associates, PC is requesting that any member of the public that believes that they have been the victim of racial discrimination by the NYPD Licensing Division should contact the law firm.
SOURCE Tilem & Associates