NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Two men have filed a civil lawsuit after they say they were wrongfully arrested at Northwoods Mall in October 2016 when they were still in high school.
According to the lawsuit, Jordan Gantlin and Darrius Wilhite were high school seniors who were in the state to celebrate the South Carolina State University homecoming.
The pair were at Northwoods Mall with Jordan's mother, Yolanda Gantlin, on Oct. 22, 2016, around 7 p.m., according to the lawsuit. When Yolanda went to shop at Belk, the lawsuit claims Jordan and Wilhite were arrested and charged with trespassing, The lawsuit states the pair did nothing wrong and didn't commit a crime. It also says there were no reports from anyone that they were acting suspiciously.
A Northwoods Mall security guard approached them and asked for their IDs in order to comply for the men's Youth Escort Policy which forbids people under 18 for being in the mall without a chaperone. At the time the policy had been in effect for less than a month and the two were not aware of it at the time. The lawsuit states that both men were singled out for questioning because they're black.
When the two said they didn't have any IDs on them, the security guard told them to leave. The lawsuit states that as the men were walking out of the mall, they were detained by a North Charleston police officer, who arrested them for trespassing. The mall also didn't take any steps to contact Jordan's mother Yolanda even though she was in the mall, the lawsuit states.
Gantlin and Wilhite spent the night in jail and the charges were later dismissed the lawsuit states. McLeod Law Group and Savage Law firm filed the suit on behalf of the two men in South Carolina state court.
The lawsuit claims the fourth amendment and due process rights of the men were violated through unlawful search and seizure. They're seeking actual and punitive damages determined by a jury.
The men are being represented by the McLeod Law Group and Savage Law Firm.