ALABAMA – An Alabama police department is under scrutiny for arresting a Black pastor for watering his neighbors grass while they were away.
Michael Jennings, a Black pastor at Vision of Abundant Life Ministries in Sylacauga, was arrested on obstruction charges for failure to provide identification in the late May incident in Childersburg. The charges have since been dropped.
In Alabama the police are allowed to ask someone to identify themselves in a public place if they reasonably suspect that person of committing a crime.
Bodycam footage shows the police questioning Jennings when a woman approaches saying she was the one who called police but quickly said he lived next door. It is not clear what she called 911 claiming Jennings was doing or what crime the officers thought he was committing.
This is not the first case of a man being accused of committing a crime while holding a water nozzle when accosted by police.
In Long Beach, Calif., under then Deputy Police Chief Robert Luna a man was killed by officers for holding a metal water nozzle.
The family of Douglas Zerby was awarded $6.5 million in a settlement. Officers claimed they thought he had a gun based on a 911 call saying “an intoxicated man was holding a six shooter”.
A website that provides a “scorecard” of national police departments found Long Beach was horribly ran under the leadership of Robert Luna while he was deputy chief and continued after he was promoted to chief in 2014.
He is currently running for Sheriff against incumbent Alex Villanueva.