Thursday, October 03, 2019

Lawsuit Claims Deputy Coerced Driver To Be Baptized

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports on an unusual lawsuit filed this week by a woman against two Hamilton County (TN) sheriff's deputies in a Tennessee state trial court.  The lawsuit, asking for $11 million in damages, alleges that Deputy Daniel Wilkey initiated an unjustified traffic stop of plaintiff, and then conducted an intrusive pat down search of her for methamphetamine.  He discovered only a marijuana cigarette butt. Then, according to the paper:
After searching the woman's vehicle, he asked her if she had ever been "saved" and whether she believed in Jesus Christ, the lawsuit states. He told her that God was "talking to him during the vehicle search" and that he "felt the Lord wanted him to baptize [her]."
Wilkey then told her to go inside the home she was visiting and grab two towels for a baptism.... He said if she let him baptize her, he would issue her only a criminal citation for the possession of marijuana.....
When the woman returned outside, Wilkey told her to drive her own vehicle and follow him..... [T]hey eventually arrived at a boat ramp at Soddy Lake.... At that point, another deputy — Jacob Goforth — arrived.... Wilkey told the woman that Goforth was there because, "in order for a baptism to be valid, a witness must 'attest' to the ritual."
Wilkey then "stripped nearly naked".... He then led her into nearly waist-deep water, placed one hand on her back and the other on her breasts and completely submerged her under the water....