Man who sued police for keeping his guns for years gets $20K

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man who sued police for refusing to return his guns for more than six years has been awarded $20,000 in damages by a federal jury.

The Providence Journal reports attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union representing Jason Richer, of North Smithfield, argued that town police had violated his due process rights.

Richer says police forced him to undergo a mental health evaluation and seized his weapons in 2008 after his then wife said he’d attempted suicide. Richer says he wasn’t suicidal and that his wife had misinterpreted a conversation.

When Richer tried to retrieve the guns, police said he needed a court order.

The town returned the guns after the ACLU filed suit in 2015, but a judge ruled Richer’s claim could proceed.

The town’s attorney declined comment.

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