BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Black pastor who was arrested by white cops whereas watering the flowers of a neighbor who was out of city filed a federal lawsuit alleging the ordeal violated his constitutional rights and prompted lingering issues together with emotional misery and nervousness.
Michael Jennings filed the lawsuit Friday evening towards three officers and the central Alabama city of Childersburg requesting a jury trial and in search of an unspecified sum of money.
Jennings’ legal professionals held a information convention exterior the Birmingham federal courthouse on Saturday to debate the lawsuit, and the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights group, and different teams deliberate a rally afterward at a downtown park.
“I’m right here for accountability, and I’m right here for justice,” Jennings instructed the information convention.
The swimsuit alleged the actions of Officers Christopher Smith and Justin Gable, Sgt. Jeremy Brooks and town violated rights defending towards illegal arrest and guaranteeing free speech. He cited a number of persevering with issues together with publish traumatic stress dysfunction and humiliation.
Childersburg metropolis legal professional Reagan Rumsey didn’t return an electronic mail in search of remark.
Jennings, 56, was arrested in Might after a white neighbor known as 911 and mentioned a “youthful Black male” and gold SUV had been at a home whereas the homeowners — who’re buddies of Jennings and had requested him to observe their dwelling — had been away.
Jennings recognized himself as “Pastor Jennings” however refused to supply identification to the officers, who arrested him on a cost of obstructing authorities operations after a 20-minute confrontation that included raised voices on either side.
Filed in municipal courtroom, the cost was dismissed inside days on the request of the then-police chief. Jennings’ attorneys final month launched police physique digicam video that was obtained following a data request to town, positioned 55 miles (88 kilometers) southeast of Birmingham.
Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama department of the NAACP, mentioned the officers who arrested Jennings did “so many issues” that weren’t consistent with good group policing techniques.
“These poor judgment selections mirror poorly on the kind of coaching the Childersburg cops obtain … in the event that they had been performing in accordance inside police pointers,” Simelton mentioned in an announcement.
Whereas Jennings might have filed a declare towards town in search of damages, legal professional Harry Daniels mentioned that wasn’t completed as a result of the arrest was effectively inside the time-frame allowed by regulation for a lawsuit.