Video shows pastor arrested while watering plants; plans to file lawsuit
CHILDERSBURG, Al. (WBRC/Gray News) – An attorney for a Black pastor in Alabama who was arrested while watering his neighbor’s flowers in May is calling the incident “irrational, irresponsible and illegal.”
Police body camera footage released last week shows officers approaching Pastor Michael Jennings, of Vision of Abundant Life Church, and questioning why he’s at the house.
The 20-minute video shows the pastor being confronted and arrested by police.
Disclaimer: This video contains some foul language.
He identifies himself as “Pastor Jennings” and says he’s been asked to water the flowers while a neighbor is gone.
The officers asked Jennings for his identification, but he refused knowing he didn’t have to produce ID because he was not committing a crime.
Shortly after, Jennings walked away with the officers following behind.
In the video, Jennings can be heard telling police the gold SUV parked in the driveway that prompted the 911 call didn’t belong to him.
Jennings told officers his name and said his home was across the street.
The pastor was placed into handcuffs and sat down on nearby steps. He was charged with obstructing governmental operations.
The officers later spoke with the 911 caller, who confirmed Jennings would be watering her neighbor’s flowers since they are out of town and said, “this is probably my fault.”
The gold SUV seen on the property came back as registered to the neighbor who lived at the home where Jennings was watering flowers.
The charges against Jennings were dropped the following month. However, his attorney said they still plan to sue the department.
“These cases put law enforcement on notice and the country on notice that these types of interactions — thank God that Pastor Jennings had a cool head. He didn’t get aggressive or defensive in a sense, and he complied when the officers grabbed him,” civil rights attorney Harry Daniels said.
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