THE THIN BLUE LINE
DATELINE: CHILDERSBURG, Ala. — It all started with Pastor Michael Jennings being a good neighbor, according to Georgia-based civil rights attorney Harry Daniels, one of three attorneys representing Jennings. Daniels said Jennings’ long-time neighbor asked him to water his yard while the neighbor was out of town but while he was performing his neighborly duties, police say someone reported a suspicious vehicle and person on the property.
In the video, Jennings can be heard telling police the gold SUV didn’t belong to him. Jennings told officers his name and said his home was across the street. The officer then asked Jennings for his identification and Jennings refused. Jennings told officers he had a background in law enforcement and knew he didn’t have to produce identification because he was not committing a crime. Shortly after, Jennings walked away with the officers following behind.
Jennings was placed into handcuffs, his phone taken, and sat down on nearby steps. Georgia-based civil rights attorney Harry Daniels said the video clearly showed police denying Jennings his rights. “It represents an abuse of police powers. It represents racial profiling and it represents law-enforcement officers intimidating a person who actually understands and knows their rights,” Daniels said.
◾️The suspicious vehicle, a gold SUV, turned out to belong to the absent homeowner.
◾️Jennings was arrested and charged with obstructing government operations. Those charges dropped the following month.
◾️Jennings is pastor at Vision of Abundant Life Ministries in Sylacauga.
◾️Jennings plans to sue the police department.