Alabama Preacher Sued for Arrest While Watering Neighbor’s Flowers

Black pastor Michael Jennings was jailed in May for ostensibly doing his out-of-town neighbors a favor by watering their plants when he filed a federal complaint against three Childersburg, Alabama police officers and the city on Friday. According to the lawsuit, Jennings’ arrest violated his constitutional rights and caused him severe distress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jennings stated in a press conference on Saturday that the officers who arrested him acted with “impunity,” expecting to face no consequences for their actions. “It made me feel like a lesser human being. Really, I didn’t feel all that much. It was as if I had no control. As a result, I felt a lot of pain.”

Alabama Preacher Sued for Arrest While Watering Neighbor's Flowers
Alabama Preacher Sued for Arrest While Watering Neighbor’s Flowers

Childersburg police officers Christopher Smith and Justin Gable, along with Sgt. Jeremy Brooks, are being sued by Jennings’ attorney on grounds that they violated their client’s Fourth Amendment rights and acted “willfully, maliciously, in bad faith, and in reckless disregard of Pastor Jennings'” rights.
According to the complaint, “no reasonable officer in the positions of the individual defendants could have reasonably believed that there was arguable probable cause that Pastor Jennings committed the offense of obstruction of government, or any other criminal act, prior to his arrest.”