Rhode Island poet sues Providence, police officer

May 23, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island poet has sued the city of Providence and a city police officer, saying he was racially profiled, assaulted, harassed and falsely arrested three years ago.

The Providence Journal reports that Christopher Johnson, of Providence, a spoken-word artist and former state poet laureate candidate, is seeking unspecified damages and the firing of the officer.

Johnson says he declined to provide his name to the officer, who pulled alongside him in a police SUV while walking home from a concert in May 2016.


Johnson says he was grabbed and slammed into the vehicle so hard it left a dent.

Charges against Johnson were later dismissed.

A police spokeswoman says Johnson never filed a formal complaint with the department. Mayor Jorge Elorza’s spokesman says the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation.


Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com