‘I am tired of being profiled’: NYC fashion photographer faces weapon charges over jewelry
A Brooklyn photographer said that New York City Police arrested him, claiming that a two-finger ring he was wearing was actually brass knuckles.
According to Andre Perry, two undercover officers approached him at Union Station in November, and told him that his ring was considered a deadly weapon.
“I’m not saying those are your intentions, but you could hurt somebody with this,” the officer says in a video of the arrest recorded on Perry’s cell phone. “Does it make sense why I’m stopping you?”
“Not per se because like any…” Perry replies before being interrupted.
“I get that, but this is considered a weapon,” the officer insists.
In a post on Facebook, Perry explained that he was handcuffed, and detained overnight.
“It made me very upset when I was being held in jail. I was sitting next to people who actually committed crimes. I bought this ring with the intent of wearing it as jewelry. I’ve been wearing it for over a year, and never had a problem, Perry told DNAinfo New York.
Perry said that he had bought the ring at a Williamsburg flea market. It is marketed by Dallas & Dynasty as a $30 fashion accessory.
The photographer, who shot ads for Reebok, Brooklyn Circus and Nordstrom, is now facing charges for two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
“When I asked the defendant [Perry] about the metal knuckles, he said in substance, ‘I know I could hurt someone with it,'” NYPD Officer Jonathan Correa wrote in the criminal complaint.
Mark Bederow, who Perry hopes to hire as a criminal defense attorney, pointed out to DNAinfo New York that there was no legal definition for brass knuckles.
“A fashionable person wearing a two-finger flat, gold ring marketed and sold as legitimate jewelry, and worn exclusively as such, should not be treated as a criminal accused of being in possession of a weapon,” Bederow said. “A case involving the legitimate possession of jewelry, which arguably looks like metal knuckles, screams out for the use of prosecutorial discretion and the dismissal of all criminal charges.”
A Kickstarter campaign to fund Perry’s defense was unsuccessful, so he intends to pay the attorney’s fees himself. And he said that he would sue the city if they decided to prosecute the case.
“I am tired of being profiled and deemed suspicious,” he wrote. “I was profiled two years ago and my life was almost taken from me when an undercover cop chased me in my house and pulled a gun out because, again, I looked suspicious.”
Watch the video below of Perry’s arrest.