Nydia Tisdale v. Johnny Burt, et al.
Superior Court of Dawson County, Georgia
Civil Action No.: 2016-CV-336-J
On the eve of the two-year anniversary of being arrested for video recording an open-to-the-public rally in Dawson County, the citizen forcibly removed while filming candidates making stump speeches has filed a lawsuit against the landowners alleging violations of Georgia law.
On August 23, 2014, Nydia Tisdale sought to videotape a campaign rally of Republican candidates and elected officials, including Governor Nathan Deal, United States Senate candidate David Perdue, Attorney General Sam Olens, Congressman Doug Collins, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, and School Superintendent candidate Richard Woods.
After Tisdale had already filmed several speeches at a popular tourist attraction known as Burt’s Pumpkin Farm, owner Johnny Burt instructed Captain Henry Anthony “Tony” Wooten to shut her down.
Without identifying himself, Wooten grabbed Tisdale’s hand and arm, lifted her up out of her chair, frogmarched her out of the rally and into an unoccupied barn, slammed her body against a countertop, and pushed his groin into her buttocks. Tisdale’s six screams for “Help!” are missing from her video footage.
As she was restrained against the countertop, Tisdale implored Wooten to loosen his grip on her arm being twisted behind her back. Wooten did not and said, “All you gotta do is be still,” as he continued pushing his crotch into her backside. The video can be seen at:
Johnny Burt has subsequently gone on record as saying he approved of Capt. Wooten’s actions.
Bonnie Lowe Jones filed a state lawsuit against property owners and principals Johnny Burt, Kathy Burt, and Burt’s Farm, LLC in Dawson County Superior Court on August 22, 2016 [CAFN 2016-CV-336-J]. The lawsuit seeks damages for an unspecified amount, including an award of punitive damages. Jury trial is demanded.
Tisdale previously filed suit in federal court against three officers who unlawfully arrested her, alleging violations of U.S. constitutional rights on May 9, 2016 [Case 2:16-cv-00092-WCO].
Copies of Tisdale’s lawsuits are available at AboutForsyth.com.