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Surprise releases history of man suing over dismissed DUI

PHOENIX — The City of Surprise released a history Thursday of the interactions police have had with Jessie Thornton who is suing the city over a dismissed DUI.

The report said that Surprise police contacted Thornton seven times for traffic-related incidents. Of those seven incidents, Thornton was only cited twice.

Thornton was cited in a Dec. 7 traffic stop in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise, but the misdemeanor drunken driving charge was dismissed nearly two months later after a blood test revealed no signs of mind-altering drugs in his body.

In a precursor to a lawsuit, Thornton, who is black, filed a $500,000 notice of claim against the city in late April, alleging he is the victim of racial profiling and harassment by Surprise police.

Police say the 64-year-old retired firefighter had crossed a white roadway line, had blood shot eyes, acknowledged taking a prescription blood-pressure medication and swayed and struggled to keep his balance during a sobriety test.

Thornton’s lawyer Marc Victor says his client’s eyes were bloodshot because had just returned from swimming at a gym and that he was suffering from knee and hip problems at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.