Parents File Federal Lawsuit in Douglas County

DOUGLASVILLE (WAOK/AJC)-A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for its handling of potential witnesses after the beating death of Bobby Tillman at a party in November 2010.

Some parents say their children were treated like criminals while waiting to be interviewed about what they saw the night Tillman was stomped to death.

According to the AJC, four plaintiffs and their parents allege in a 28-count complaint that more than 60 children were put on a prisoner bus and taken to police headquarters for questioning.

They said the party-goers were forced to turn over their cellphones and were not allowed to contact their parents. They also allege that the children, none of whom were suspects, were held on the bus under armed guard for hours without heat, food, water or access to a bathroom.

Jessica Washington , one of the parents said that she was not allowed to talk to her 15-year-old son, Derrick White, when she finally found out where he was.

Lt. Bruce Ferguson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said that he didn’t think anyone’s civil rights were violated.

“If I had let every one of those kids go, I could still be trying to track down witnesses and trying to interview them in this case, we did it pretty much in one night.”

He said the children were given water and allowed bathroom breaks. He also said that they were on the bus for about four hours, though parents said it was longer than that.

Four teens were arrested and charged with murder in the case: Quantez Devonta Mallory, Horace Damon Coleman, Emmanuel Benjamin Boykins, and Tracen Lamar Franklin. Boykins accepted a plea deal to get a life sentence. If convicted, the other three defendants could be sentenced to death.

More in this report from the AJC

More from Jean Ross
  • DWM

    Looks like the boy’s mommy and daddy want a pay day!

  • Moni

    i ask one question if you have 60 kids – there should have been 120 grown ups (parents) call 911asking where their children are…. then out of 60 kids why did the police get any information : don’t Black parents teach their children NEVER speak to the police without them or some guardian present? So I BLAME PARENT (s) for what happen too the kids. The Cops could have waited 2-3 days and 1-20 of the little Negros would have all the info on Facebook with pictures. So there goes your Post Racial America… I ask would they have treated a bunch of Jewish Kids the same way…. I hope parent’s in general are teaching their children – Life is not equal – even if Daddy & Mommy are CFO of IBM or a Baby Mama with a ETB card they are still a N-er Coon to the ones who Rule.

    • l, mcduff

      moni…. you stupid

    • DWM

      :) Couldn’t agree more!

  • Moni

    Its Nice that I,mcduff said I am stupid — I would LOVE to know why

    may be they should bring back the commercials from 70′ – 80’s


  • Sarah

    This was still a violations of the rights of these children and they need to be called on the carpet for it..Are we keep saying it was OK for law enforcement to round up under-age children and question them without parental consent? We are opening a door of consent whereby we will not be able to close it..What happened to this young man was terrible, but we cannot make excuses for the excuseable to allow to happen this rounding up of our children and violation the civil right of our children, then it will next be our black azzes who will be rounded up and questioned without access to lawyers…

  • DWM

    maybe the boys parents could get some advise from the boy troy davis’ family about law suits! TYPICAL

    Hey, why does the statue of MLK in the new memorial in DC make him look like a misrable person???? Maybe one of you people could answer that!

  • DWM

    Ain’t you people going to debate back or does the TRUTH hurt to much!!!! Just like that boy Troy Davis, in a few weeks we will forget all about this case!

    Again this would be a great topic for Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey or Michael Baisden to give you people an excuse to blaim somebody.

  • CGB

    These kids all stood around and watched a boy get killed and are lucky they didn’t get charged with accessory to murder. Instead of thanking the police department for simply finding out who did the actual beating, the parents want to sue. I don’t believe for one second their motive for suing is anything other than GREED. Go ahead, keep pushing, and what will end up happening next time is they’ll all get charged. Stupid, stupid people.

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