BERLIN – The local woman threatened with arrest for sitting on a picnic table at Henry Park is now seeking relief through the legal system.
Ronshell Shockley, the woman confronted by a police officer for not sitting correctly at a picnic table, plans to file a $75,000 lawsuit if she and the Town of Berlin don’t come to a resolution by Jan. 15. According to Luke Rommel, her attorney, if the matter is not resolved by then he’ll file an equal protection claim in federal court.
“Initially, we were hoping for a simple apology,” Rommel said. “That never happened. At this point, there would be a small monetary component required to resolve the dispute. The money would be mainly symbolic; no one has any intention of ‘getting rich’ off this case, but we feel there should be a deterrent component to this so it does not happen again.”
On June 30, Shockley and her husband were at Henry Park watching their son’s basketball game. She was sitting on top of a picnic table when she was approached by Lt. Jeffrey Lawson of the Berlin Police Department. He told her she was sitting on the bench wrong and when her husband questioned the officer’s behavior, they were told to leave.