Black man arrested for groping sheriff's deputy – but investigators say she bumped into him

A military contractor is suing a Georgia sheriff, saying he was wrongfully arrested back in April and charged with sexual battery of a sheriff’s deputy, WSB-TV reports.

According to Darius Rice, he is innocent and it was a conflict of interest for the sheriff to arrest him because the alleged victim is the sheriff’s wife.

Rice, who is Black, said he wasn't looking and accidentally bumped into Clinch County Deputy April Tinsley while they were both inside a convenience store.

People took out their cellphones recorded Sheriff Stephen Tinsley trying to arrest Rice as the two scuffled. Rice’s girlfriend, Ashley Jackson, recorded the scuffle before April Tinsley grabbed Jackson’s phone and threw it in their truck. Jackson and Tinsley then got into a fight after Tinsley accused Jackson of assault.

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Rice’s attorneys say that investigators who looked at the video of the alleged groping said it shows Rice accidentally bumped into Tinsley and that their client should not still be facing charges.

“It’s amazing to me that with all the evidence a white woman’s tears still trump all of those things,” attorney Bakari Sellers said. Attorney Harry Daniels added that Stephen Tinsley should have called authorities instead of carrying out the arrest himself.

“That shows that he has a conflict of interest because his wife is saying hey babe, somebody touched me,” Daniels said.

Rice says the incident is "a big, big, big embarrassment."

"Especially I’m a man with morals,” Rice said.

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