Amy Elizabeth Barnes (pictured), a white grassroots activist from Marietta, Georgia, won $100,000 in a federal case against Cobb County. She was placed behind bars for yelling “Cobb police suck” and “F–k the police” as she cycled by them while they were questioning a black man two years ago, according to WSB-TV.
Barnes, who is hearing impaired, is a familiar face in her state for her battles with bureaucracy. She believes that the officers violated her first amendment rights when they jailed her for swearing at them and charged her with disorderly conduct and abusing words “to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”
On the day of her arrest, Barnes hopped on her bicycle to get some butter for her family meal. As she cycled past two police officers, who had been questioning a black man outside of a convenience store, she swore at them and then flipped them off with her middle finger.
The cops immediately stopped questioning the man and hightailed it after Barnes.
“They came after me like it was some action movie,” she said according to WSB-TV. When they caught the woman, the officers handcuffed her and placed her into solitary confinement for 23 hours on a misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct.
Barnes deemed the punishment as an unbearable situation, and she actually referred to the experience as “torture.” The Georgia resident goes on to describe the isolation of her imprisonment at the time as “having no clock, no person to speak to, empty walls.” She contended, “We need human contact.”
Barnes’ criminal trial, which took place last year, acquitted her of all charges. Now, with the suit being settled, Barnes is ecstatic about her vindication and win. According to her attorney, Cynthia Counts, “To me it was a clear violation of her rights, it shouldn’t have even had to be a trial but a great vindication of the law for everybody.”