Man sues State Police, trooper after photo confrontation

By Kyla Asbury | Dec 16, 2009

On Sept. 23, Michael Kidd took this and other photos of multiple State Police vehicles illegally parked along Goshorn Street in downtown Charleston. (Photo courtesy of Michael Kidd)

CHARLESTON -- A man is suing a West Virginia State Trooper and the West Virginia State Police after he confronted by the trooper while photographing an illegally parked police cruiser.

On Sept. 23 Michael Kidd observed multiple State Police vehicles illegally parked along Goshorn Street, one even occupying two spaces clearly marked and reserved for handicapped parking, according to a complaint filed Dec. 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Kidd claims he got out of his car and was in the process of photographing one of the police cruisers when Trooper Jason Garnes confronted him and demanded an explanation for what he was doing. Kidd claims he replied that he was "photographing illegally parked police vehicles."

According to the suit, Garnes, who was uniformed and armed, placed Kidd against a wall of a nearby parking building and instructed him to keep his hands against the wall.

The lawsuit also states Garnes continued to direct Kidd as to the specific position for him to maintain and made physical contact with him "in an offensive manner," including searching him and placing his hands into Kidd's pockets.

Kidd remained in the position for about 15 minutes, according to the suit, during which Garnes cursed at him and threatened him saying, "I'll be seeing you again sometime."

Kidd claims he has suffered embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, annoyance and inconvenience. He claims Garnes violated his rights to be free from unreasonable seizure and search.

Kidd is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Mark McMillian is representing him.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2242

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