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Brooks v. City of West Point

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division

May 1, 2014

GREGORY BROOKS, PLAINTIFF
v.
CITY OF WEST POINT, MISSISSIPPI; and JIMMY BIRCHFIELD; and WILLIAM SPRADLING, DEFENDANTS

Page 791

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 792

For Gregory Brooks, Plaintiff: Brandon Lyle Flechas, LEAD ATTORNEY, STROUD AND HARPER PC, Southaven, MS; Philip Andrew Stroud, LEAD ATTORNEY, THE STROUD LAW FIRM, PC, Southaven, MS.

For City of West Point, Mississippi, Jimmy Birchfield, William Spradling, Defendants: Orlando Rodriquez Richmond, Sr., LEAD ATTORNEY, BUTLER, SNOW, O'MARA, STEVENS & CANNADA, PLLC, Ridgeland, MS; Lemuel E. Montgomery, BUTLER SNOW LLP, Ridgeland, MS; Margaret Zimmerman Smith, BUTLER, SNOW, O'MARA, STEVENS & CANNADA - Jackson, Ridgeland, MS.

OPINION

Page 793

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Sharion Aycock, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiff filed this cause of action alleging violations of his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment [57] asserting the individual officers were entitled to qualified immunity. The briefing is complete, and the Court finds as follows:

Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff Gregory Brooks called the West Point Police Department on the morning of January 2, 2012, to inquire about making a complaint and pressing charges against his sister for telephone harassment. Officer Jimmy Birchfield was dispatched to Brooks' home to address the complaint. Birchfield joined Brooks on his driveway where Brooks filled Birchfield in on the telephone calls, showed him offending text messages, and played him voice mail recordings. According to the Plaintiff, Birchfield responded to Brooks' complaint by informing him that because Brooks had made calls to the sister, he could not press charges for telephone harassment.[1]

Plaintiff contends that he was " displeased with Birchfield's response and told Birchfield to leave his property." Brooks contends he was never told that he had broken any law or that he was under arrest. Birchfield's recollection however, is as follows:

[Brooks] said, " well Birchfield," you know, " I don't like your punk ass no way." I said, " Mr. Brooks, I'm trying to explain to you this is the way it works." And he said, " you know, furthermore, just get your mother f*cking ass out of my yard." So that's when I told Mr. Brooks, I said, " Mr. Brooks, this is the only thing about this." I said, " now, you can't be cussing the police." I said, " now, at this point what you're doing is being disorderly." I said, " I'm trying to advise you on what we can do and what we can't do." And he said, " I don't like your mother f*cking ass no way. Get the f*ck out of my yard." I said, " okay, Mr. Brooks, you're fixing to go to jail for disorderly conduct."

Brooks returned inside his house, and Birchfield reversed his police cruiser down the driveway and parked on the street in front of the Brooks' house. Birchfield radioed in to 911, reported that Brooks was " clearly disorderly," and requested another unit be dispatched.

Sergeant William Spradling arrived approximately five minutes later. Both officers approached Brooks' home, and Birchfield knocked on the front door. Brooks, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). ...


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