PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CN) – A Providence police officer looking for a snitch pulled down a black man’s pants in public, told him to bend over and said, “I am going to give you a chance to give up somebody or I am going to go up there,” the man claims in Federal Court.
General Jones sued Providence, its police Officer Matthew Jennette, who allegedly made the threat, and Officer Eric Chabot.
Jones says he was a passenger in a friend’s car when Providence police stopped them, made them get out, and handcuffed and searched them.
Finding nothing, and no outstanding warrants, Jones says, the defendant officers put him in the back of an SUV and Jennette told him: “‘Either you are going to work with me or we are going to find something that you have on you,’ or words to like effect, implying that defendant Jennette would place contraband on plaintiffs person to make it appear as if plaintiff had committed a crime.”
Jones claims the officers drove him to a nearby middle school and Officer Jennette told him, “‘I will give you 45 seconds to come up with the name of somebody and give up what you have or we are going in there,’ or words to like effect, suggesting he would search plaintiff’s anal cavity.”
The complaint continues: “Defendant Jennette then removed a rubber or latex glove from his pocket and put it on his hand.
“He then stated to the plaintiff, ‘I know what you are thinking. What kind of cop
would do something like this? We are the cops that can do something like this. Are you sure you don’t have something for me?’, or words to like effect.
“Defendant Jennette then ordered the plaintiff to exit the police SUV. Defendant
Chabot also exited the SUV at that time.
“While plaintiff was handcuffed and standing between the SUV and some bushes, and in the immediate presence of defendant Chabot, defendant Jennette unbuckled plaintiff’s belt and pants and pulled down his pants and underwear, exposing the plaintiff’s genitals.
“Defendant Jennette then grabbed the plaintiff’s penis and testicles and searched that area of his body.
“Defendant Jennette then ordered the plaintiff to turn around and bend over. The plaintiff complied with defendant Jennette’s orders.
“Defendant Jennette then spread the plaintiff’s buttocks and touched the outside of his rectum in an apparent attempt to insert his finger.
“Defendant Jennette then stated to the plaintiff, ‘Stop tensing up,’ or words to like effect. He also stated, ‘I am going to give you a chance to give up somebody or I am going to up there [inside plaintiff’s rectum], or words to like effect.
“Defendant Jennette then made an apparent attempt to insert his finger inside plaintiff’s rectum.
“In an attempt to stop the unlawful and humiliating strip search and body cavity search, the plaintiff provided a false name to defendants Jennette and/or Chabot.” (Brackets in complaint.)
Jones claims Jennette concluded his strip and body cavity search, took him back to the scene of the initial traffic stop, and told him, “You will be an informant for me. If you don’t, I will be coming and looking for you.”
Jones seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, assault and battery and privacy violations.
He is represented by Richard Sinapi, with Sinapi & Formisano, of Cranston.