A former student at a historically black college in Alabama says he was beaten and injured after a college dean ordered campus security guards to “taze” him.
In a federal lawsuit, Justin Rollins says he was body slammed by guards in the quad at Miles College near Birmingham in November 2017.
It happened shortly after Dean of Student Affairs Charles Gibbs asked Rollins to remove his white Nike baseball cap in the school cafeteria, the former student’s lawyer, Connie Morrow, said Thursday.
Rollins had been disciplined for wearing the hat and was trying to ask Gibbs about an appeal when Gibbs — using a vulgar term — asked the guards to “taze” him with stun guns, the lawsuit states.
They inflicted head injuries and damaged his vertebra, Morrow said.
“There were numerous security guards who just swarmed him,” she said. “They body slammed him – that could have killed him. He says he felt like he was beaten up every place on his body.”
Neither Gibbs nor Miles’ college relations department immediately responded to requests for comment Thursday.
The dispute over the hat came after earlier issues, and the dean had been trying to “bait” Rollins into getting into trouble, the lawsuit states.
Rollins wears a hat because of a dermatological condition he’s had for several years, the lawsuit states. It doesn’t appear that wearing a hat violates any Miles College rules, Morrow wrote in the complaint.
Miles College — a private, liberal arts institution — was founded in 1898. The historically black college is in the Birmingham suburb of Fairfield.