Monday, May 22, 2017, 12:45 pm
Last Thursday, the latest victim of illegal arrest by the Greenwood Police Department filed suit against former Greenwood police officer Perry Hines in Leflore County Circuit Court, seeking damages for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution.
This latest lawsuit, filed on behalf of Jelani Barr by attorneys Ron Lewis of Oxford and Tom Calhoun of Greenwood, may be seen here: Barr v. Perry Hines.
As first reported by The Taxpayers Channel, on June 27, 2016, Lt. Hines had attempted to intimidate Mr. Barr from filming the police in Sam Leach Park by telling him, quite untruthfully, that the Supreme Court had ruled that citizens have no right to video tape the police in the performance of their duties. When Barr walked away from Hines, he told the officer to "get his facts straight, you dumb-ass." Hines then illegally arrested Barr for supposedly using "public profanity." Barr's comment to the officer was, in fact, fully within his rights under the First Amendment.
The criminal case against Barr soon collapsed when city judge Carlos Palmer summarily dismissed the charges against him on June 15th. See Another illegal arrest by Greenwood police thrown out by judge
The Greenwood Police Department has a history of repeatedly intimidating reporters and citizens from photographing or videotaping officers in public places. The Taxpayers Channel has now documented six such instances since January 2015.
The City of Greenwood did not conduct an internal affairs investigation into the illegal arrest of Jelani Barr on May 29, 2016, even though it was publicly known that the officer involved, Lt. Perry Hines, violated city policy when he tried to intimidate the victim from photographing the police at the time.
This was the third time Barr had been arrested in 15 months on trumped up charges in retaliation for exercising constitutional rights protected by the First Amendment, in each instance, in retaliation for, or related to, his taking videos or publishing photographs of police officers in public places. For the two prior instances, see Jelani Barr Arrested for Facebook Post and Greenwood Settles Jelani Barr Civil Rights Lawsuit.
In this latest suit, Barr seeks damages from Lt. Hines for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, as well as violation of his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment civil rights under the United States Constitution. According to the pleadings, Hines' illegal conduct resulted in "unreasonable search and seizure, loss of freedom, restraint on his [Barr's] free speech, unnecessary and excessive force, physical and emotional pain and suffering, humiliation, anger, an attorney fee, bail and jail fee, tow charges, and inconvenience."
Barr asks for compensatory and punitive damages from Hines, as well as his attorneys' fees and costs of bringing this lawsuit.
John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel