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Purple Heart Veteran Arrested by NYPD for Possession of His Own Gun Despite Valid Concealed Weapon Permit

A decorated Black U.S. Army veteran, Raffique Khan, was arrested by the NYPD for possessing his own gun despite having a valid concealed weapons permit issued by the same police department. He spent over 24 hours in jail before being informed of the charges. The NYPD took three months to dismiss the charges but still refused to return his firearm, citing an ongoing investigation.

Khan, who works as an armed federal environment protection specialist, is suing the NYPD for racial profiling, malicious prosecution, false arrest, and violating his Second Amendment rights. The officer who arrested him, Matthew S. Bessen, has a history of around 36 complaints, mostly from Black individuals.

The arrest occurred after Khan attended a family gathering. Despite having Purple Heart license plates on his BMW, he was pulled over, searched, and arrested without probable cause. Khan spent over 34 hours in jail, unable to contact his family or employer. Charges included criminal possession of a weapon and firearm possession.

After prosecutors dismissed the case, the NYPD delayed returning his guns until Khan filed a lawsuit. Khan, originally from Trinidad-Tobago, earned his U.S. citizenship and military honors, including a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, for his service in Afghanistan. Despite his credentials, Officer Bessen questioned their authenticity, reflecting a broader issue of racial profiling.


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