NYPD Steals $18,000 From Man Because He Was Carrying A Banned Pocket Knife

Monday, September 19, 2016
By Paul Martin

By Alice Salles
SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

In the past five years, the New York Police Department has spent $347,000 on false arrest lawsuit settlements. According to the Village Voice, these costs stem from the city’s “gravity knife statute.”

Passed in 1958, the law banned New York residents from carrying knives fitted with blades that fall out of the handle as the user points them toward the ground while pushing the lever. This antiquated law is responsible for thousands of yearly arrests, despite the fact that current knife designs bear no resemblance to the blades of yesteryear.

But estimates suggest that over the past ten years, this particular ban has been the reason for the prosecution of “60,000 New Yorkers … many of them working people who use folding knives as part of their jobs.” A recent incident shows another unintended consequence of upholding the gravity knife statute — one that cost a South Bronx resident $18,000.

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