Antonio Smith said he knew he was going to be falsely accused as police approached him
Smith, a black man, is pursuing the Georgia town of Valdosta and numerous officers from the Valdosta Police Department for excessive force and violation of his civil rights after being slammed on the ground after he was wrongfully arrested.
Smith showed his wrist to Cuomo, who was broken at the time and still has a large protrusion. Although Smith said he had forgiven the officers at the time, his lawyer Nathaniel Haugabrook told Cuomo that he blamed the second officer on the scene for aggravating the situation by physical violence.
“The co-pilot, as the video shows, has a fairly normal conversation with Mr. Smith,” said Haugabrook. “Mr. Smith has complied with all of his instructions, provided his identification, denied the situation of being the suspicious person, and you have another officer who comes to the scene and has just taken over. “
City attorney received copy of trial last week, “city has not had time to review document and therefore cannot comment on contents of prosecution,” says VPD statement the same day as the lawsuit. served.
CNN contacted the International Union of Police Associations.
The video shows the body slamming
VPD released a five-minute body camera video of Sergeant Bill Wheeler’s incident, and Haugabrook sent CNN an 11-minute body camera video of officer Dominic Henry.
The incident started on February 8 when a Walgreens employee called 911 because a man was asking customers for money, Haugabrook previously told CNN by phone.
After an agent approached the man, another client told another agent that the man who had harassed them had taken to the street, said Haugabrook.
Smith was on the street when Henry approached him and asked for his identity, which Smith did, said Haugabrook.
Smith told Cuomo he was doing nothing wrong, just waiting for his sister to send him money. He also said that he told the police at the time that he was doing nothing wrong and told them to call his sister in Florida to confirm.
The video shows another officer, whose insignia was visible in the video and was identified by CNN by Haugabrook as Wheeler, approached Smith and put him in an embrace.
Smith asks, “What are you doing?”
Wheeler says, “Listen to him and put your hands behind your back,” before slamming him on the ground, stepping on him and handcuffing him.
The way Wheeler held Smith prevented him from putting his hands behind his back and broke Smith’s wrist when he was slammed to the ground, said Haugabrook.
“I don’t think anyone can listen to his crying and wailing, the agony he is in, without their hearts dropping,” said Haugabrook of the video.
Haugabrook told CNN that his client refused medical attention at the scene because he was afraid and wanted to go home after the incident. Later that evening, Smith went to the hospital where they confirmed that his wrist was broken, said Haugabrook.
While on the ground, we hear Smith shout, “Oh my God! You broke my wrist “, before an officer said” Stop “and” It could be broken “
Smith continues to cry and complain while saying “Oh Jesus, it hurts” over and over before the officers take off an armband.
“It’s the other guy. The guy with the warrant is over there,” said Henry to the other three and showed him the way.
“We arrested the right person”, but misunderstood information
Before the arrest, the body slammed and the wrist broken, there was a misinterpretation of information about the police group.
Police responded to the Walgreens with reports that an African American man wearing a brown hoodie and blue pants was harassing customers, Valdosta police said in a Facebook statement.
Two police officers independently searching the scene found two different men who matched the description: one, who turned out not to be the man the 911 call was made about, had warrants of crime. The other, who was the subject of the 911 call, did not do so.
But this information has been misinterpreted.
“The responding officer thought this person was the subject of the 911 call and was a person with warrants of crime,” said the release. This officer approached and advised him to put his hands behind his back. When he pulled his arms forward and stretched his body, the officer “used a physical control technique to place the subject on the ground” to be handcuffed, the statement said.
While handcuffing Smith, the officer noticed that he appeared to be injured and immediately removed the handcuffs and asked the dispatcher to send emergency medical services, the statement said.
“We had the right person arrested, it’s just a shame that communication, when you have multiple agents on the same call, there are communication problems during radio traffic. And those are things on which yes, we can work as an agency, and work to continue to train our officers to better and better communicate with each other. But again, we arrested the good guy who was causing the problem at Walgreens, he’s just a shame it is not the one with the criminal warrants, “Valdosta police chief Leslie Manahan told the CNN WALB affiliate.
The police department said that although he received no complaints following the incident, the shift supervisor was nevertheless informed, which prompted the officer’s supervisor, the commander of the patrol office, the Home Affairs Division and the police chief to reconsider the incident.
Smith was compliant and was just having a conversation when the incident occurred, Haugabrook told CNN. He also stated that there was no reason to use this level of force.
CNN was unable to reach the officers or sergeant involved in the incident for comment.
CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.