DOUGLASVILLE: Civil rights lawsuit to be filed in Bobby Tillman case | News
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. -- An attorney for four teenagers plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit on Wednesday, claiming their rights were violated when they were questioned about the beating death of Bobby Tillman.
Attorney Sandra Dawson Carletta Sims claims deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office went too far when they rounded up about 60 teens after Tillman was killed outside a huge house party in November 2010.
"The children were forced to surrender their cell phones, denied permission to call their parents, herded into a prisoner bus, and taken to police headquarters," Sims said she will argue in a 28-count complaint. She plans to hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller defended his deputies' actions during an interview the following day, November 7, 2010.
"It was after midnight. We had to control the situation," Sheriff Miller said. "The only way we could do that is to bring those people up here and interview each one individually. If those people had been under arrest, charged with a crime and we were gonna interview them, we would have notified their parents. But we were trying to find out what happened. They were eyewitnesses to a murder, and we were trying to find the facts. So that's what we did."
Four teenagers were charged with Tillman's murder.
The civil lawsuit involves four other teens and their parents.
Sims claims the teens were held captive in a prisoner bus under armed guard for hours without heat, food, water or access to a bathroom, then interrogated without permission from their parents.
In fact, Sims said deputies confiscated cell phones so the kids couldn't even call their parents.