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USA News

American Black pastor arrested for watering neighbour’s flowers

by Alex Collett

A Black pastor from Alabama, who was arrested for watering his neighbour's flowers, is filing a discrimination lawsuit against the police.

Pastor Michael Jennings, who leads the Vision of Abundant Life Ministries in Sylacauga, had returned from a Sunday service to his home in nearby Childersburg in May, when he went to water the plants. 

But whilst he was watering them, someone in the neighbourhood called the police, telling authorities that there was an unknown man on the property.

When police arrived, he told them that his neighbour had asked him to take care of the plants while they were out of town.

The police officer asked Mr Jennings to present identification, but Mr Jennings declined to do, telling them he "did nothing wrong."

Body camera footage from one of the officers recorded the whole encounter and after less than two minutes of the recorded interaction, police officers took Mr Jennings' phone and handcuffed him. 

Police continued to tell Mr Jennings that he was a suspicious person and that he should have presented his identification when asked - even though he was not committing a crime.

Despite members of Mr Jennings' family arriving to confirm his identification, the pastor was taken to jail and ultimately charged with obstruction of government operation.
The charge was dropped a month later, and now, with the backing of the body camera footage, Mr Jennings said that he is preparing to file a lawsuit against the police department.

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