(JustPatriots.com)- The Black pastor who was arrested in Alabama for watering the flowers of his neighbor is filing a federal lawsuit against the police officers that arrested him.
Michael Jennings was arrested by three police officers in Childersburg, Alabama, recently after he was watering flowers for his neighbor. The event got national attention by people who were saying he was arrested for no reason at all.
Attorneys for Jennings have argued in their lawsuit against the officers that his First and Fourth amendment rights were violated, and there was also false arrest.
Back in May, a neighbor who didn’t recognize Jennings called police after they thought they saw a suspicious person at a house of another neighbor who wasn’t in town. Police subsequently arrested Jennings for trespassing.
Over the weekend, Jennings said at a press conference that the entire incident caused him to feel humiliated and dehumanized. Even while he was being placed under arrest, Jennings’ wife as well as another neighbor were pleading with them to release him.
At the press conference, Jennings said:
“What they did that day, they did with impunity, figured there would be no action taken against them. I felt dehumanized. I felt little. I felt helpless, and it hurt me.”
Jennings said that he identified himself verbally to the officers who arrived on the scene, but they didn’t believe who he said he was. He added that he didn’t have identification on him, and also told officers that he wouldn’t go get any to show the officers.
After that refusal, police arrested Jennings and booked him into Talladega County Jail. He was released after he posted $500 in bail, the lawsuit said. The suit also acknowledged that the charges against Jennings were dismissed with prejudice on June 1.
The attorneys representing Jennings said that, according to how they are interpreting the law in Alabama, their client had proper permission to be on that private property. Because of that, he wasn’t required to provide identification to the officers.
The entire incident was captured on video that’s gone viral since the incident.
One of Jennings’ attorneys, Harry Daniels, said that he hopes that the entire ordeal would put law enforcement officials across the country on notice to see that “that’s not how it’s done.” He also praised Jennings for how collected and calm he remained while he was being placed into custody and after the arrest as well.
Bethaney Embry Jones, who is serving as another attorney for Jennings, said that police should familiarize themselves with laws better so they don’t place people under arrest who aren’t doing anything wrong. She added that the entire incident could’ve been avoided had the officers known the local laws.
At the weekend press conference, Jennings added that Childersburg’s mayor hasn’t reached out to him to speak about the arrest at all. As he said at the press conference:
“I am here today for there to be some accountability. Not here for revenge. I’m here for accountability and for justice.”
Daniels said that the lawsuit is asking for a trial by jury and seeking relief through the court system.