Minister sues Christian bookstore

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A Northwestern Indiana minister has filed a lawsuit against a Christian bookstore claiming racial discrimination when he was told to leave the store and that he would be arrested if he ever returned.

Minister Alvin Murphy, an African-American, and his godson, James Green, went to the Family Christian Stores in Merrillville with the intent to shop for books and a crucifix. This was the first time Green had visited the store, but Murphy was a regular and had shopped there for nearly 14 years. Murphy is also a member of the store's perks programs for pastors and families, according to the complaint.

Julie McNutt, an assistant manager at the store, had called the shopping plaza's security because she suspected another African-American in the store of stealing. Security called Hobart Police to respond to McNutt's call.

According to the complaint, McNutt assumed Murphy and Green were associated with the man suspected of stealing and had Hobart Police escort them out of the store. Murphy told police he intended to purchase the items he was carrying.

The Hobart police officer told Murphy that McNutt had called police and requested they issue a citation to Murphy and Green to never return to the store and that if they did, they would be arrested for trespassing.

In his suit filed May 22 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Alvin Murphy v. Family Christian Stores, Inc., et al., No. 2:09-CV-146, Murphy is suing for violations of 42 U.S.C. Sections 1981, 1982 and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. He believes he was the victim of racial profiling.

According to a press release issued by Murphy's attorney, Trent A. McCain, Murphy originally filed a charge against the bookstore with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, which found probable cause that Murphy and his godson's rights were violated by the store. The results of that finding led to the federal lawsuit.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues