(PresidentialWire.com)- A black pastor in Alabama has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the ‘racist’ police officers who detained him as he was watering his neighbor’s flowers.
Pastor Michael Jennings was detained outside his neighbor’s yard in Childersburg, Alabama, in May after police got a complaint about a suspicious man and car on the property.
Jennings held a press conference outside the federal courthouse in Birmingham, claiming he was there to demand responsibility. Not for vengeance. He filed a lawsuit against Childersburg and three police officers. The lawsuit said that Jennings was falsely arrested and sought unspecified monetary damages. His attorneys asked for a jury trial.
The pastor’s son collected roughly $2,600 on GoFundMe, claiming his father had to close his church because the congregation was too small.
In the footage, Jennings is seen watering the flowers with a hose and telling authorities that his neighbor requested him to care for his shrubs while he was out of town. Police in the video question Jennings how they would know he was speaking the truth.
The pastor, who lives across the street, said he was watering the flowers with the water hose.
Three officers from the Childersburg Police Department were shown on body camera shouting at Jennings as he refused to give identification. The preacher laughed and told them they were ‘racially profiling’ him. He was then arrested and driven away in a police car.
Despite the neighbors vouching for him, Jennings was arrested, charged with obstructing government operations and forced to post $500 bail.
One month later, the charges were dropped.
Jennings later learned the person who called 911 knew him but didn’t recognize him when she called in the report.
Police asked a neighbor if Jennings had permission to water flowers at the home.
The neighbor said that he might because they are friends and they went out of town. It would be completely normal. She later said, ‘This is probably my fault.’
That was a curious statement.
Police later received notice the ‘suspicious’ car belonged to another man.
Jennings’ attorney, Harry Daniels, melodramatically told the media that the pastor feared leaving to get his ID from his house because he thought the cops might ‘put a bullet’ in his back. The story continues at this link.
The arrest was an overreaction. But according to crime statistics for Childersburg, Alabama, there may have been a reason for it.
Childersburg reportedly has one of the highest crime rates in America. With a crime rate of 42 per thousand, compared to all communities of all sizes. One out of 24 people is a victim of violence or property crime. More than 88% of municipalities in Alabama have a lower crime rate than Childersburg.