Pastor Michael Jennings recently made national headlines after he was arrested for watering his neighbor’s flowers in Childersburg, Alabama. The video of Jennings being arrested eventually went viral after many on social media viewed the arrest as another case of racial profiling.
Jennings is now fighting back with a federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit was officially announced at a news conference in Birmingham, Alabama featuring Jennings, his attorneys, and Alabama State NAACP President Benard Simelton. Pastor Jennings is represented by national civil rights attorney Harry Daniels, Bethaney Embry Jones (The Embry Law Firm) and Joi Travis (Travis Law, LLC).
“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 the press conference. “I felt helpless, and it hurt me.”
Jennings said the incident began after he identified himself, but the officers did not believe him. He was arrested and released after posting a $500 bail. The charges were eventually dropped.
Although the video has garnered millions of views and brought attention to the small town, Jennings has yet to receive a call or apology from Childersburg Mayor Ken Wesson.
Jennings hopes the lawsuit will force the city and law enforcement to be more accountable for their actions.
“I am here today for there to be some accountability,” Jennings said. “Not here for revenge, I’m here for accountability and for justice.”