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Suit against Saltville police officer advances

A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss civil claims against a police officer involved in a Saltville incident that started with a speeding ticket and ended with a whole family going to jail.

U.S. District Judge James P. Jones ruled the case can proceed against the officer who arrested Larry Jackson for refusing an order to go back inside his home. Claims against the town and its former police chief were dismissed.

Jones gave no points for style in Jackson’s suit, however. He wrote in a footnote:

There is no question but that Jackson’s Complaint is extravagant not only in its length (29 pages and 114 numbered paragraphs), but also in its tone, containing numerous underlinings and italics for emphasis and provocative bold headings, such as, “Part of a Larger Conspiracy?” (Compl. p. 16) and, “Things Go From Bad To Worse” (id. at p. 4). Surely Iqbal does not require such spin and one wonders what counsel’s aim is in drafting such a pleading. It certainly does not help to persuade the court.

As the Bristol Herald Courier reports, the case is part of a larger controversy surrounding the Saltville police department, where the police chief resigned not long after the Jackson arrest. The newspaper posts video clips of the Jackson family arrests and reports that another plaintiff has filed suit claiming wrongful arrest in a separate incident.

Both plaintiffs are represented by Richard F. Hawkins III of Richmond. The defendants in the Jackson suit are represented by Cameron S. Bell of Abingdon.

By Peter Vieth

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