Minister prays for relief while battered by officers, suit says

By The West Virginia Record | Nov 1, 2007

By E. B. McCoy

HUNTINGTON- A black Huntington minister has filed a civil rights lawsuit claiming officials used excessive force when they arrested him after a traffic stop.

Rev. Richard Revely's suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Huntington, named the Huntington Police Department and the Western Regional Jail as defendants.

Revely alleges that the Huntington Police Department and Western Regional Jail authorities used excessive force when they placed and held him under arrest. He alleges that he never was read his Miranda rights nor informed of the reason for his arrest before he was transported to jail.

On Nov. 20, 2005, Revely noticed he was being followed by a police car and decided to return home. While walking to his front door, Revely alleges Sergeant Booth turned on his lights, exited the cruiser and pointed a gun in his face. The complaint also alleges that while the minister's hands were in the air the Sergeant, sprayed him with mace, kicked him in the back, slammed his face in the mud, and then waited for multiple officers to arrive before taking Revely to jail.

Revely alleges while in custody at the Western Regional he prayed for relief from the burning sensation in his eyes and mouth. Revely alleges officers placed a cloth mask over his face, used a broom stick to prod him in the stomach and genitals, rang loud horns and made pig noises in his ear and then mocked his ministry by calling him a "Jim Jones type who gives his constituents poisoned Kool-Aid."

The next morning, Revely was informed by Cabell County Magistrate John Rice that he was charged with Failure to Stop, Fleeing from an Officer, Obstruction of Justice, Driving on a Suspended License and Expired Registration.

All criminal charges against Revely were dropped in Cabell County on April 24, 2006, after arresting officers repeatedly failed to appear for court.

Revely and his wife are seeking punitive damages plus the cost of litigation.

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