Black pastor arrested while watering neighbor’s flowers in Alabama | USA TODAY

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Pastor Michael Jennings is suing an Alabama police department after he said he was unlawfully arrested while watering his neighbor’s flowers.

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A Black pastor in Alabama says police unlawfully arrested him in May 2022 while he was watering his neighbor’s flowers.

Attorneys for Michael Jennings, a longtime pastor at Vision of Abundant Life Church in Sylacauga, Alabama, have released police body cam video of his arrest and say legal action against the Childersburg Police Department is forthcoming.

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“This video makes it clear that these officers decided they were going to arrest Pastor Jennings less than five minutes after pulling up and then tried to rewrite history claiming he hadn’t identified himself when that was the first thing he did,” said Harry Daniels, an Atlanta attorney representing Jennings, in a statement. “This was not only an unlawful arrest. It’s kidnapping.”

Childersburg police arrested Jennings on May 22 and charged him with obstructing government operations, according to a criminal complaint. A municipal judge dismissed the case in June, according to court documents provided to USA TODAY by Jennings’ attorneys.

The arrest and charge were “irrational, irresponsible and illegal,” Daniels said in the statement.

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