August 16, 2021

An Austin man says he is suing a Houston store after he was allegedly assaulted by officers and then had his shirt confiscated for wearing a shirt that read “Black Lives Matter” while shopping at a Walmart.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by Daniel D. Smith, who says he purchased shirts with the slogan “Black lives matter” at the Walmart in San Antonio.

According to the lawsuit, Smith said he was walking to the restroom when he was confronted by officers who took him into custody and accused him of “disturbing public peace.”

He said he has suffered “severe and permanent injury, mental anguish, and emotional distress.”

The suit alleges that the officers took his shirt away, confiscated it, and placed it in a “bulk container” for sale.

Smith said that he was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

He said that after being held for five hours, he was released and told he would not be charged because his shirt was still in the store.

“My shirt is still in Walmart,” Smith told ABC affiliate KPRC.

“I had no intention of disrespecting the flag or anything else.

I was just walking to Walmart.

It’s my right to free speech.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety declined to comment on the suit, but said it had been notified.

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