Johnathan McCoy walks out of the federal courthouse in Columbia on March 12, 2013.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A jury has been selected in the civil case involving an attorney who's suing the City of Columbia and three of its police officers.
Johnathan McCoy has filed the lawsuit which stems from an incident three years ago outside a Five Points bar, where McCoy says his rights were violated.
Jury selection took place Monday in the federal courthouse in Columbia.
Back in October of 2009, an intoxicated Allen McAllister was arrested for refusing to leave the Red Hot Tomatoes.
A surveillance camera did not record that incident, but did record most of what followed next.
McCoy, McAllister's friend, approached on of the arresting officers and asked why he was being detained. An incident report says McCoy was placed in handcuffs after he "came up and grabbed an officer by the arm."
But court documents of the lawsuit dispute those claims and allege that McCoy's First Amendment rights were violated, stating that McCoy only "intended to inquire the nature of the arrest."
In his lawsuit, McCoy and his attorneys say McCoy asked officers why he was being arrested, and officers told him quote "For that right there, asking questions, it's none of your business."
McCoy was charged with "interfering with a police officer" and was taken to county jail.
A surveillance camera captured the incident. It does not have any audio, but does show part of the exchange.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that McCoy and McAlister were both booked into the jail's general population after the arresting officers refused to deliver arrest documentation. Court documents say while McCoy was in jail, he witnessed a cellmate booked on an unrelated incident commit suicide.
In court Monday, the judge told jurors that this case will determine if McCoy's rights were violated by simply speaking to officers, or if McCoy did physically interfere with the arrest.
The trial will begin on Monday.