Former business owner sues KCPD, mayor for millions of dollars after charges dropped

KCPD faces multi-million dollar lawsuit

KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Police Department faces a multi-million dollar lawsuit from a former Kansas City business owner who said the department tarnished his reputation.

Micah Riggs said police forced him to shut down the Coffee Wonk shop in midtown, and he’s now suing them for $20 million.

In an earlier interview, Riggs showed 41 Action News his best-selling item, and it wasn’t coffee.

Instead, customers came in for the incense mix.

People often smoke it, even though there's a label warning against ingesting it.

But when police were called to the Coffee Wonk four years ago on a robbery call, they not only confiscated thousands of dollars’ worth of incense, but they also charged Riggs with intent to distribute and create a controlled substance.

He was eventually acquitted and the charges were dropped.

“Regardless of whether anybody thought Mr. Riggs was morally culpable, he's not on trial anymore,” Henry Bell, who is representing Rigg’s in his lawsuit, said. “He didn’t commit any crimes and that's really what's important in this case."

In a phone interview, Bell said they're most upset with how police handled the situation.

In the lawsuit, Riggs claims that on three separate occasions, police unlawfully searched his place of business and unlawfully seized his property.

“Which was completely unnecessary and if that's not bullying, I don't know what is,” Bell said.

His attorney said they aren’t just seeking justice for Riggs, but for others around Kansas City.

“If nobody stands up for that and fights the police and says ‘this isn’t okay, you’ve violated my constitutional rights’,” Bell said, “then the police will keep on doing it."

A spokesperson from the Kansas City Police Dept. said that because the lawsuit is still pending, they cannot comment.

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