On Feb. 8, 2020, Antonio Arnelo Smith, 46, was walking down the street when he was stopped by members of the Valdosta Police Department, according to the Valdosta Daily Times, which retrieved footage of the encounter recorded by the officer’s body camera.
The police officer accused Smith of panhandling outside of a pharmacy. Smith told the cops that he was waiting on a Western Union transfer from his sister who lives in Florida. The cops had actually stopped the wrong man.
Without allowing Smith much of an opportunity to share his side of the story, a White cop grabbed him from behind and slammed him on the ground. Smith was placed in handcuffs, but he was eventually released after it was discovered that he was not the suspect in question. Smith reportedly suffered a broken arm following the attack.
On June 20, Smith filed a $700,000 lawsuit against the Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson, members of the Valdosta City Council, Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan, three Valdosta patrolmen and one police sergeant as defendants. The lawsuit states that officers used “unnecessary and illegal” force against Smith.
The Valdosta Daily Times released bodycam footage of the incident on June 22 and the footage has since gone viral.
View video below:
Antonio Smith has sued the Valdosta Police Department and city officials alleging excessive force was used by the department in a Feb. 8 incident. The lawsuit was filed Friday, June 19. His attorney, Nathaniel Haugabrook, gave The Valdosta Daily Times body cam footage of the incident.Full story here: https://bit.ly/2CsoAGE
Posted by The Valdosta Daily Times on Monday, June 22, 2020