Surprise releases history of man suing over dismissed DUI
PHOENIX -- The City of Surprise released a history Thursday of the interactions police have had with Jessie Thornton who is suing the city over a dismissed DUI.
The report said that Surprise police contacted Thornton seven times for traffic-related incidents. Of those seven incidents, Thornton was only cited twice.
Thornton was cited in a Dec. 7 traffic stop in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise, but the misdemeanor drunken driving charge was dismissed nearly two months later after a blood test revealed no signs of mind-altering drugs in his body.
In a precursor to a lawsuit, Thornton, who is black, filed a $500,000 notice of claim against the city in late April, alleging he is the victim of racial profiling and harassment by Surprise police.
Police say the 64-year-old retired firefighter had crossed a white roadway line, had blood shot eyes, acknowledged taking a prescription blood-pressure medication and swayed and struggled to keep his balance during a sobriety test.
Thornton's lawyer Marc Victor says his client's eyes were bloodshot because had just returned from swimming at a gym and that he was suffering from knee and hip problems at the time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.