Hampton Coaches Sue for $30 Million in False Arrest Case
HAMPTON, Va. — The Hampton University women’s basketball coach, her assistant, and her husband have filed a civil action lawsuit against the city of Lubbock, Texas, and several of its police officers, claiming they were unlawfully arrested (see Black Issues, Dec. 10, 1998).
The $30 million suit was filed, last month, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of Coach Patricia Bibbs, her husband Ezell, and her assistant Vanetta Kelso. It alleges the police engaged in racially discriminatory behavior when they detained the Black plaintiffs on Nov. 16, 1998 while investigating an alleged scam.
Cited as defendants are: the city of Lubbock; Police Chief Ken Walker; officers David Houser, Keith Jobe, Brian McNeill, R. Hearron, and Mike Overland; and unknown employees of the Emergency Medical Services at University Medical Center.
Aside from the money, the plaintiffs are also seeking apologies from all the defendants, court supervision of the Lubbock Police Department, the creation of a program that would provide proper training and discipline of officers, and the adoption of policies for hiring and promotion of police officers that the court deems nondiscriminatory.
At the time of the arrests, the Bibbses and Kelso were in Lubbock for a basketball game between Hampton and Texas Tech University scheduled for Nov. 17. Because of the incident, the game was canceled. Four days after the incident, Lubbock Mayor Windy Sitton flew to Hampton to publicly apologize to the trio and the university.
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