When 62-year-old Bob Jamerson was arrested outside Colony Square in Midtown on June 26, 2013, it began a saga that would see a federal lawsuit brought and a police officer quit the force. The long, and detailed story appears to be nearing an end as an Atlanta City Council committee, Tuesday, decided to settle with Jamerson for $20,000.
The arrest of Jamerson – also-known-as “Baton Bob” – happened outside Colony Square on no less than Peachtree Street. Jamerson reportedly said that he was dressed in a white wedding gown to celebrate the end of the federal ban on gay marriage.
“Baton Bob,” seen often marching up and down the sidewalk, was doing the same on that day in 2013. But officers with the Atlanta Police Department said that when they asked “Baton Bob” to leave the area, he refused and kicked them. They took him into custody, charging him with simple assault. The charges were later dismissed.
“Baton Bob” filed a federal lawsuit. He claimed that the officers violated his rights to free speech when they arrested him. He also alleged that excessive force was used by the officers arresting him. He also reportedly claimed in the lawsuit that he was instructed to post a positive message about Atlanta police on his Facebook page.
“Baton Bob’s” lawsuit also alleged that arresting officer Lt. Jeffrey Cantin, after an internal investigation, was suspended for five days. Another officer, H.J. Davis, was suspended for a day; with the claim stating that Davis resigned after the police probe.
While the City of Atlanta had vowed to “vigorously defend” itself against Jamerson’s lawsuit, the council committee did an about-face. The full Atlanta City Council still has to approve the settlement. That’s expected to happen next Monday.