BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Black pastor who was arrested by white law enforcement officials whereas watering the flowers of a neighbor who was out of city filed a federal lawsuit alleging the ordeal violated his constitutional rights and triggered lingering issues together with emotional misery and anxiousness.
Michael Jennings filed the lawsuit Friday night time in opposition to three officers and the central Alabama city of Childersburg requesting a jury trial and looking for an unspecified amount of cash.
Jennings’ attorneys held a information convention outdoors 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 here for accountability, and I’m here for justice,” Jennings advised the information convention.
The go well with alleged the actions of Officers Christopher Smith and Justin Gable, Sgt. Jeremy Brooks and the town violated rights defending in opposition to 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 e mail looking for remark.
Jennings, 56, was arrested in May after a white neighbor known as 911 and mentioned a “younger Black male” and gold SUV had been at a home whereas the homeowners — who’re pals of Jennings and had requested him to look at their residence — 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 each 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 digital camera video that was obtained following a data request to the town, situated 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 things” that weren’t in step with good group policing techniques.
“These poor judgment decisions reflect poorly on the type of training the Childersburg police officers receive … if they were acting in accordance within police guidelines,” Simelton mentioned in a press release.
While Jennings might have filed a declare in opposition to the town looking for damages, legal professional Harry Daniels mentioned that wasn’t carried out as a result of the arrest was properly inside the time-frame allowed by legislation for a lawsuit.