ACLU settles lawsuit against North Smithfield Police

ACLU settles lawsuit against North Smithfield Police

NORTH SMITHFIELD – The American Civil Liberties Union has settled a lawsuit with the North Smithfield Police Department on behalf of resident Jason Richer challenging a note in the department’s files that labeled Richer as “dangerous” and “psychologically unstable.”

According to an announcement released by the ACLU last Thursday, the department has agreed to remove the note and pay $3,000 in attorneys’ fees. The ACLU challenged the note last year on the basis it increased the possibility that officers may overract when interacting with Richer. According to the release, the note also claimed Richer had numerous weapons at his house.

This is the second suit the ACLU has filed against the department on behalf of Richer. Earlier this year, he was awarded $20,000 in damages after a federal jury determined the department had unlawfully refused to return weapons they had seized from him several years earlier. The note, according to the announcement, was uncovered while litigating that case.