Monday, July 30, 2007

Suit Filed Over Morristown Rally

A civil lawsuit has been filed against the city of Morristown, Hamblen County, numerous police and deputies and other officials in U.S. District Court in Greeneville by Teddy Ray Mitchell, a disabled vet who is claiming various violations of his civil rights and for injuries he claims he received when he attempted to carry an American flag and a lawn chair into the location of an anti-immigration rally held last June in Morristown.

noe4accountability has the contents of the suit at her website.

I wrote previously about the event here and here, and about the massive presence of at least 100 law enforcement officers who surrounded the very small group of protesters who had a permit for the rally to take place.

Mitchell claims he was tasered, taken down to the ground and arrested. His complaint also states:

Citizens were encouraged to attend and to bring American flags. Mr. Mitchell brought along with him a lawn chair and an American flag to attend the rally. He also wore around his neck a picture of himself in his Navy uniform from the 1960's. Mr. Mitchell was not a member of any group or organization. He simply wanted to attend a pro-America rally.


"The officers forcefully demanded that he would not be able to take his flag into the rally. Mr. Mitchell objected to this. He asked if a Mexican flag would be allowed and was told by one of the defendant officers that, yes, a Mexican flag could go in. The officers then did forcefully try to take the flag from him and grabbed Mr. Mitchell and forced him to the ground. At the same time, they stunned and/or tasered him.

Intense emotions, including some fearfulness on behalf of law enforcement, were on obvious display at this rally. Much confusion has likewise colored the event and it's aftermath. Mitchell is also seeking $100,000 in damages as well. I can't help but be a bit surprised it has taken this long for the suit to be filed, but I've been informed that quite a few behind the scenes meetings took place to resolve the conflicts and prevent any court action.

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