Black Pastor Arrested While Watering Neighbor's Flowers Files Lawsuit

Photo: Getty Images

The Black pastor arrested while watering his neighbor's flowers is suing three Alabama officers who he alleges violated his Fourth and First Amendment rights, CNN reports.

On Friday (September 9), attorneys for pastor Michael Jennings filed a federal lawsuit, accusing Childersburg, Alabama police officers of false arrest.

Jennings was detained and booked into Talladega County Jail in May after a neighbor who deemed the pastor "suspicious" called the police as he was watering flowers at another neighbor's house, who was out of town.

Viral video of the incident shows police handcuffing the Alabama pastor in his neighbor's yard with water hose in hand despite Jennings explaining the situation to officers and a third neighbor vouching for him.

"What they did that day, they did with impunity, figured there would be no action taken against them. I felt dehumanized, I felt little," Jennings said during a press conference on Saturday (September 10). "I felt helpless, and it hurt me."

Jennings said he verbally identified himself to police during the incident, but officers didn't believe him. The pastor didn't have physical identification with him at the time of the encounter and refused to retrieve it, he said.

According to his legal team, Jennings had permission to be on private property, so it wasn't required that he identify himself to police.

After he was taken into custody, Jennings was released on a $500 bail and his charges were dismissed the following month, per the suit.

However, the pastor is seeking accountability and justice for what he called out as "racial profiling" during the viral arrest.

"I am here today for there to be some accountability," Jennings said in a statement. "Not here for revenge, I'm here for accountability and for justice."

Attorney Harry Daniels said they're requesting a jury trial and relief from the courts via the suit.

Watch the full video of the incident here.

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