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Rockette Sues City, Officials

WATER VALLEY – A Water Valley resident is seeking four million dollars in damages in a federal lawsuit filed against the City of Water Valley. Terry Rockette alleges violations of his Fourth, 13th and 14th Amendment rights in the suit filed in U.S. District Court on October 23.

Allegations in the lawsuit range from threats and sexual harassment to false imprisonment and refusal to provide city services. Other defendants listed are Mayor Donald Gray, Police Chief Jason Mangrum, attorney Daniel Martin as well as Carpenter Management Company and Berkshire Apartments. Rockette filed a second federal lawsuit the same day against Carpenter Management Company and Berkshire Apartments that includes similar defendants and allegations seeking two million dollars in damages.

The first lawsuit alleges “City office and election misconduct regarding Mayor Donald Gray.”

“The mayor and I ran against other for mayor and are currently running against each other for chancery clerk, the mayor use his position to derive me community service and charge me unlawful fees regarding electric,” Rockette’s lawsuit stated.

Rockette ran for mayor unsuccessfully against Gray in a special election in 2017 and again in 2021. Rockette is currently a candidate for Chancery Clerk in the Nov. 7 General Election, a position Gray is also seeking.

Rockette also alleges that the mayor and city retaliated against his family by refusing to provide city services including utilities. The claims in the lawsuit also include an illegal search and seizure of his dwelling stating that the police entered his dwelling illegally with employees of Carpenter Manager, the management company for Berkshire Apartments. It also states that a report was falsified.

“The police made The carpenter management and Berkshire apartment city agents,” the lawsuit states. “Police created false police report naming me a criminal and making the document public,” the suit states.

The lawsuit also claims that the Water Valley Police Department has caused him emotional distress.

“water valley police department murdered my grandfather in from of his children and making threats to me that I need to be put in place like my grand dad, while gripping their guns and entering my swelling, pulling me over at nights, subjecting me to racist behavior, destroying my reputation with some citizens, depriving me of my rights,” the lawsuit states.

In the second lawsuit filed against Berkshire Apartments, additional defendants are Crow Martin, PLLC, and the Water Valley Police Department and employees at Berkshire Apartments.

Allegations in the second suit include gender and race discrimination with claims that he was refused the opportunity for an apartment that was being reserved for a female tenant. Rockette cited several dates for the alleged harassment.

“Sexually harassment by coming to my apartment during and after business hours, photos of my body, entering my bedroom to photo my underwear and offering me sex to drop my HUD complaint,” the lawsuit also stated. “October 11, 18, 20th, 21, the landlord and her boyfriend threatening me by pointing gun fingers at me, as if they were shooting me.”

The allegations also include damage to his apartment with blood and theft of a diamond ring as part of ongoing harassment.
Rockette is requesting a jury trial in both lawsuits.

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