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Black pastor arrested while watering neighbor's flowers sues police

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A Black pastor who was arrested by white police officers while watering the flowers of a neighbor who was out of town filed a federal lawsuit alleging the ordeal violated his constitutional rights and caused lingering problems including emotional distress and anxiety.Michael Jennings filed the lawsuit Friday night against three officers and the central Alabama town of Childersburg requesting a jury trial and seeking an unspecified amount of money.Jennings’ lawyers held a news conference outside the Birmingham federal courthouse on Saturday to discuss the lawsuit, and the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, and other groups planned a rally afterward at a downtown park.RELATED: Legoland performers ignored Black children, lawsuit alleges"I’m here for accountability, and I’m here for justice," Jennings told the news conference.The suit alleged the actions of Officers Christopher Smith and Justin Gable, Sgt.

Jeremy Brooks and the city violated rights protecting against unlawful arrest and guaranteeing free speech. He cited multiple continuing problems including post traumatic stress disorder and humiliation.Childersburg city attorney Reagan Rumsey didn’t return an email seeking comment.Jennings, 56, was arrested in May after a white neighbor called 911 and said a "younger Black male" and gold SUV were at a house while the owners — who are friends of Jennings and had asked him to watch their home — were away.Jennings identified himself as "Pastor Jennings" but refused to provide identification to the officers, who arrested him on a charge of obstructing government operations after a 20-minute confrontation that included raised voices on both sides.RELATED: St.

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