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DALLAS (CBS11) – The man who was first identified as a suspect in the ambush on police in downtown Dallas on July 7 says he is suing the Dallas Police Department.

On Friday, police returned the rifle Mark Hughes surrendered to them the night of the shooting.

Mark Hughes - one-time police shooting suspect (DPD)

Mark Hughes on July 7, 2016 – one-time police shooting suspect (DPD)

Hughes was carrying it as part of a protest against police violence in other cities.

Hughes said Friday Dallas Police had his rifle illegally.  He said the police department claimed Hughes had an unpaid traffic ticket he needed to clear up first.

“I think the process of them saying that I had a warrant out for my arrest for a traffic ticket I think that was a bit excessive for the simple fact that when I applied for my gun I had to go through all my background checks and the traffic warrant did not stop me from obtaining my rifle,” said Hughes.

Hughes’ lawyers did not say how much money they would ask for in the lawsuit.

The Dallas Police department released this statement in response:

The Dallas Police Department worked with Mr. Hughes on the release of his weapon. The process to retrieve a firearm is lengthy due to laws the department must follow. Mr. Hughes’ weapon was returned to him once he was able to fully complete the process. The Dallas Police Department has not been officially notified of a pending lawsuit. 

Hours after Hughes was cleared of having anything to do with the shooting that killed five police officers, he said he started receiving death threats.

A sniper, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite shot 12 police officers and two civilians, killing five of the officers.

Police sent a bomb robot in with an explosive device, and detonated it near Johnson. “The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb,” Chief David Brown said shortly after the incident.

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