Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 11:15 am
The City of Greenwood, along with police officers Lt. Randy Powell and Sgt. Michael Hoskins, have quietly settled the federal civil rights lawsuit filed against them by Greenwood resident Jelani Barr for their false arrest of him last April 7.
The suit was filed in federal court August 28th. The city and the police officers settled the suit without filing an answer or mounting a defense of any kind with the court. The rapidity with which the city capitulated in this matter is remarkable.
The stipulation and request for dismissal was filed by Barr's attorneys Ron Lewis and Tom Calhoun on October 7. Their request was granted the next day by Federal District Judge Debra Brown.
The stipulation of settlement may be viewed here: Notice of Settlement and Dismissal
As usual, the amount of the monetary settlement is confidential and the parties may not disclose it to the public or the media.
The federal lawsuit may be viewed here:
Barr v. Greenwood et al.
Barr was illegally arrested by Powell and Hoskins the evening of April 7. The officers fabricated false charges against him, with Powell filing a perjured affidavit to bolster the illegal arrest. See Secret documents show 2nd Police Officer lied about Jelani Barr arrest
The city then filed papers it knew contained these fabrications with the Municipal Court to press forward with the prosecution of Mr. Barr. Video of the arrest proved Barr had broken no law, and that the policemen had falsely accused him because they didn't like him filming them in a public place. See City Files False Statements in Barr Prosecution
The city refused to dismiss the charges with prejudice, but Municipal Court Judge Carlos Palmer did so himself at the August 3rd trial in city court. See Court Rejects City's Gambit, Dismisses Case against Barr
The lawsuit stated that Barr was arrested based in part based on a civil-rights era anti-free speech ordinance passed by the city council, which made it official city policy to arrest citizens for ridiculing police officers. See Arrest of Citizens who ridicule the Police is official Greenwood City Policy. The city council then repealed the ordinance after The Taxpayers Channel's reporting brought it to their attention. See Video posted of Hey's address, Council's discussion of anti-civil rights ordinance
The suit also cites Police Chief Ray Moore for making false statements to the Greenwood Commonwealth accusing Mr. Barr of committing crimes based upon the fabricated statements of the police officers.
Barr's complaint states that as a result of the illegal arrest and prosecution, he "suffered unreasonable search and seizure, loss of freedom, unnecessary and excessive force, physical and emotional pain and suffering, humiliation, anger, an attorney fee, bail and jail fee and inconvenience."
To date, neither Chief Moore, Mayor Carolyn McAdams, nor any other city official has issued an apology to Barr for the police assault on him.
John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel