(CBS) – Brian Davidson is a homeless man who panhandles on the streets of Joliet.
Because of that, he says police have harassed, ticketed him and intimidated him time after time. He recalls one night in December when he had a run-in with two police officers downtown.
“Next thing I know, they’re handcuffing me,they throw me in the back of the car and said they’re taking me for a ride,” Davidson tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
He says the ride took him across 10 miles of country highway to the little town of Channahon. They left him there in sub-zero cold.
“They think that that badge in the most powerful thing in the world, and that they can just push anybody where they want to,” Davidson says.
Now, he is suing the city of Joliet, hoping a federal judge will strike down a city law that outlaws panhandling.
“We believe the statute’s unconstitutional and should be stricken,” his lawyer, John Schrock, says.
Davidson also accuses police of destroying his tent and belongings in an effort to get him to leave town. But he says they don’t have the right and hopes a court will support him.
“I’m doing this for every homeless person that’s out there that gets harassed,” he says.
Joliet’s city attorney calls Davidson’s legal complaint “a nickel-and-dime lawsuit.”
“We don’t believe any of the allegations are true. There is no campaign of harassment,” he said.