Driving While Black – Jessie Thornton, a 64-year-old retiree living in Surprise, Arizona, was pulled over and arrested on June 5th, 2013. The charge was driving under the influence. Problem was, he was not impaired even to the slightest degree. In fact, he had no alcohol or drugs in his system at all. The officer gave Mr. Thornton a field sobriety test that registered 0.000 on his breathalyzer device.
“It was driving while black,” he said. He has been stopped 10 times since retiring to the fast-growing city near Phoenix, he told ABC 15 television, and he’s fed up.
This should have been the end, but things only escalated from there. Then he was handcuffed and taken into custody where he was forced to give a blood sample. Once again tests concluded that he had neither alcohol nor drugs in his system.
“I conducted an evaluation of Jessie, in my opinion Jessie was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” read the statement of an officer at the station who examined Thornton.
The DUI charge was later dropped but only after financial damages and emotional distress had been placed on Mr. Thornton. His car was towed and impounded, his drivers license suspended and he later learned the DMV still had the DUI recorded on his driving record and demanding he attend an alcohol program.
Mr. Thornton and his attorney Marc J. Victor have filed a civil lawsuit in this matter. The lawsuit is currently pending.
The law firm of Marc J. Victor P.C. in Chandler Arizona is known for handling cases involving police misconduct. If you think you may have an issue involving police misconduct or abuse; call us to schedule a strategy session in your matter.