Last October, the city of New York paid substance abuse counselor George Pringle, 57, $42,500 after police accused him of crack possession after finding peppermints in his pockets in April 2011. He told the officers it was breath mints and told the officers to "taste it" or let him taste it, but they were sure it was crack cocaine. George spent almost 27 hours in jail that ended with the misdemeanor charge dismissed after the lab report confirmed what he had told the cops all along. So, he sued and won. Obviously. Shockingly, it has happened again. A man from Brooklyn has slapped the NYPD with a lawsuit after he was arrested in April and framed for possession of Ecstasy pills, when in all actuality all he had on his person were breath mints.
A Brooklyn man was arrested and spent 30 hours in custody after cops thought his bag of breath mints were ecstasy tablets, according to a new lawsuit. Robert Hankins was arrested outside his Bed-Stuy home on April 2 after a nurse with “professional training” in identifying MDMA, better known as ecstasy, pointed Hankins out to cops. Hankins said he was arrested despite pleading with cops to take a whiff of the mints to prove it wasn’t the club drug. He was taken to the 79th precinct, then transferred to Brooklyn Central Booking, all the while trying to convince police the “drugs” were only mints. Hankins was eventually released by the judge before his arraignment, after spending an estimated 30 hours in custody. Charges against Hankins were only dropped on Oct. 3, a little over six months later. Hankins, with his attorney Gabriel Harvis, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the NYPD and the nurse who indicted him for false arrest, unlawful stop and search, malicious prosecution, and denial of constitutional rights.Like George's lawsuit, this one will probably be settled, too.