Alabama pastor alleges racial profiling in mistaken arrest


(NewsNation) — Alabama Pastor Michael Jennings was asked by his neighbor to water their flowers while they were away from their home. Jennings was doing just that when police arrested him.

Police can be seen on body camera footage approaching Jennings while he was watering the flowers, telling him he “wasn’t supposed to be” there, then placing him under arrest in an incident Jennings told NewsNation he knows was racial profiling by the Childersburg, Alabama, police.

Police said they were responding to a report of a “suspicious vehicle.” How that led to them targeting Jennings is unclear. Jennings did not have his ID to show police and was arrested for obstruction.

“It’s outrage, it’s shame,” Jennings said on “NewsNation Prime.” “I felt dehumanized with what happened to me. It’s embarrassing, humiliating and everything else because of what they did.”

Jennings had an idea the police were going to approach him when he saw their car driving very slowly on a road behind the house.

“I don’t think they were trying to stop anything, they were trying to catch something,” Jennings said. “When they approached me and started talking to me, it seemed surreal. … Is this really going to happen over flowers?”

Jennings thought when he told the officers his name and where he lived, the interaction would have ended there. But police moved to arrest him anyway.

Charges were dropped in the case.

“As a person, it hurt my feelings, it was an insult to me, it dehumanized me,” Jennings said. “I would like for people just to be aware of the society and the state of mind that people are in now. Racism is at its highest. It is just ludicrous and ridiculous the way people are treating other people for no reason.”

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