- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

HORN LAKE, Miss. (AP) - A Horn Lake business owner wants city officials to justify his traffic obstruction arrest days after a protest march.

Tedarrell Muhammad tells the Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/1zmnhj4) he was arrested five days after a march protesting police treatment of black suspects originated at his store on busy Goodman Road.

Muhammad said Horn Lake police officers showed up Wednesday at his business, Cut & Shine Hair and Car Salon. He said the two officers placed him in handcuffs in front of customers and family members and arrested him on the misdemeanor obstruction charge.

“Even if you believe the obstruction charge is justified, why did they have to send officers to my place of business and arrest me in front of family and customers for a misdemeanor?” Muhammad asked Thursday. “That’s like arresting someone for jaywalking.”

Muhammad was released Wednesday on bond. He said he met with Horn Lake Police Chief Darryl Whaley and tried to meet with Mayor Allen Latimer to object to how police handled the matter.

Whaley said he listened to Muhammad’s complaints, but couldn’t comment further because it’s a pending legal matter. Latimer also declines to talk, citing the legal proceedings.

Muhammad lost his business license for a time in 2011 and complained it was because the city was biased against him because he was a Muslim. City leaders said it was because his business didn’t meet code. Muhammad lost a race for Horn Lake alderman in 2013.

Protesters gathered at Muhammad’s business Dec. 12 and marched about a mile east along the shoulder of Goodman to the intersection with U.S. 51. From there, they turned and marched back to the business.

The marchers, many of them carrying signs, were part of the nationwide protests against the failure to indict police officers in cases involving Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. Horn Lake marchers also called attention to Chavis Carter, a former Southaven resident who died while in a Jonesboro, Arkansas, police car in July 2012.

Whaley said the day before the march that he had met with organizers to lay ground rules and expected no problems. He said no permit was required.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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