Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Street Preacher's Suit Against Police Survives Dismissal Motion

In Craft v. Wright, (D NM, Sept. 26, 2018), a New Mexico federal district court refused to dismiss a street preacher's 1st and 4th Amendment claims against Hobbs, New Mexico police officials. The court concluded that plaintiff Al-Rashaad Craft was arrested without probable cause for assault and battery and disorderly conduct after an incident described as follows:
[Craft] was standing in the public square ... preaching a religious sermon, recording himself while doing so.... Susan Stone, began yelling at him, using obscenities, and waving a lighter only inches from Craft’s face and in front of the camera that Craft had set up to record his sermon.... Craft ignored the woman, but when he started to read from his Bible, Stone struck Craft in the face with his Bible.... In response, Craft pushed the woman away, and she lost her balance and fell.... Stone got up and continued to shout obscenities at Craft, walking in circles around him, smoking, and waving her lighter; she appeared intoxicated, which Craft later reported to the police.