Alabama: Black pastor arrested for watering neighbor’s plants

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A black pastor has been arrested for watering his neighbor’s plants while he was out of town in a case he believes involved racial profiling.

Pastor Michael Jennings was watering down the greenery in an Alabama front yard last spring when police officers approached him.

Newly released body camera footage from officers shows the ordeal that saw Jennings handcuffed and ended up in a police vehicle.

A clip shows police officers questioning Jennings as he continues to spray water. When officers ask Jennings to identify himself and show ID, the pastor replies, “I haven’t done anything wrong” and “I don’t need to identify myself.”

Police bodycam footage shows them arresting Pastor Michael Jennings as he waters his neighbor's plants

Police body cam footage shows them arresting Pastor Michael Jennings, who is watering his neighbor’s plants (Image: Alabama Police Department)

The cops continue to pursue Jennings, who only identifies himself as a pastor and seems increasingly irritated. Officials say a caller reported him.

“You want to lock me up, lock me up,” says Jennings. ‘I don’t care who called. Lock me up and see what happens.’

Another clip shows a woman at the scene being interrogated by officers. She admits that she called the police. The woman says it makes sense that Jennings would water neighbors’ plants because “they’re friends” and “they went out of town today.”

“He lives right there and would water her flowers,” she says. “It’s entirely my fault.”

Jennings is later shown being released from a police vehicle. He told ABC News’ Good Morning America that he did not commit a crime because he was on private property with permission.

“Being bound and deprived of freedom is different. It’s dehumanizing. And I thought, you know, why would they do that?’ Jennings said. “It’s something that gives you nightmares, it gives you nightmares afterwards.”

Jennings believes he was a victim of racial profiling.

His attorney, Harry Daniels, told Good Morning America, “The neighbor, a white woman, took her word as gospel truth, but the pastor who preached the gospel every Sunday, they didn’t take his word at all.”

Jennings was originally charged with obstructing government operations, but the charge was dropped.

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Justin Scacco

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