Wrongly arrested Black guy sues a Ga city and law enforcement officers for extreme power and injuries

Wrongly arrested Black man sues a Georgia city and police officers for excessive force and injury

In a lawsuit submitted Friday in federal court, Antonio Arnelo Smith, a Valdosta resident, also accused the law enforcement department of illegal arrest, untrue detention, assault as properly as battery and is trying to find $700,000 in a settlement.

The metropolis legal professional was served with a duplicate of the lawsuit on Monday and “the city has not had time to review the document and therefore can not comment on the information of the fit,” in accordance to a VPD assertion launched the similar day.

An up-to-date remark experienced not been issued from the city attorney as of Thursday afternoon. Ashlyn Johnson, a spokesperson for the city of Valdosta informed CNN she predicted a new assertion to be issued Thursday night time.

VPD unveiled a five-minute entire body digital camera online video of the incident from Sergeant Invoice Wheeler. Nathaniel Haugabrook II, an legal professional symbolizing Smith, sent CNN an 11-minute physique camera video from Officer Dominic Henry.

‘You broke my wrist’

Haugabrook told CNN over the cellphone Thursday that the incident on February 8 commenced when an worker at the Walgreens on North Ashley identified as 911 since a guy was asking shoppers for funds at the place.

Haugabrook mentioned that following one officer approached the man in concern, yet another purchaser explained to a independent officer that the guy who had been harassing them experienced walked down the road.

Haugabrook reported that his consumer was down the avenue when Henry approached him and asked for his identification. Smith complied with the officer and handed above his ID.

In entire body digicam video clip from Henry provided to CNN by Haugabrook, Smith is witnessed conversing to the officer, telling him that he was at the locale for a Western Union for his sister and they know him.

He tells the officer that he has not accomplished anything at all and to contact his sister in Florida for affirmation of his story.

The video clip demonstrates a further officer, recognized to CNN by Haugabrook as Wheeler, his badge is also obvious in the video clip, arrive up guiding Smith and place him in a bear hug.

Smith asks “What are you performing?” and Wheeler states, “Listen to him and put your arms driving your back again,” prior to he slams him to the ground, will get on major of him and cuffs him.

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Haugabrook said his customer was unable to put his arms guiding his back since of how Wheeler was keeping him. Haugabrook informed CNN that since of how he was getting held, Smith’s wrist was broken when he was slammed to the ground by Wheeler.

“I do not feel anybody can listen to his crying and wailing the agony he is in with no their coronary heart dropping,” Haugabrook mentioned of the movie.

Though he is on the floor, Smith is read crying out, “Oh my god! You broke my wrist,” ahead of an officer claims, “Stop” and “It could be broke.”

Smith carries on to cry and wail indicating “Oh Jesus, it hurts,” in excess of and above yet again prior to the officers acquire just one cuff off.

“This is the other man. The dude with the warrant is about there,” Henry tells the other 3 and points down the street.

Smith is explained to by the officers to remain on the floor.

Henry then discusses the misunderstanding with Wheeler indicating, “I thought I had skipped a little something.”

“I thought he was the a person with the warrant,” Wheeler states in advance of strolling away.

Henry is then heard declaring beneath his breath “God damn it,” ahead of a different officer on the scene asks him what took place.

Henry then stated when Wheeler instructed him to place his fingers driving his again he “imagined he had missed a little something.”

The officers are noticed giving Smith back his ID and letting him up. One officer asks him if he would like to see the ambulance and he claims no. The officer asks him to hold out for a second and Smith cradles his arm, the video demonstrates.

Haugabrook instructed CNN his customer refused clinical focus at the scene due to the fact he was terrified and required to go property after the incident.

Afterwards in the evening Smith did go to a clinic in which they verified that his wrist was broken, Haugabrook stated.

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Data conveyed around was misinterpreted

A statement from Valdosta Police posted to Fb reported “the VPD was dispatched to the Walgreens at 2815 North Ashley Street in reference to a report of a male exterior the organization harassing prospects, screaming loudly, and asking clients for dollars. The subject matter was described to be an African American male carrying a brown hoodie and blue pants.” The assertion suggests that two officers started independently browsing the scene and found two various adult males who matched the description, 1, who turned out not to be the gentleman that the 911 phone was created about, had felony warrants. The other, who was the issue of the 911 contact, did not, but details conveyed above the law enforcement band was misinterpreted.

“The responding officer considered this individual was the matter of the 911 call and was the particular person with felony warrants… approached the matter and advised him to location his palms behind his back. The subject matter did not and commenced to resist by pulling his arms ahead and tensing his human body. At this position, the responding officer made use of a physical control procedure to spot the topic on the ground so handcuffs could be applied. This process entails the officer likely (to) the ground with the topic. In the course of handcuffing, the responding officer noticed that in the tumble to ground, the issue appeared to have sustained an harm to his wrist. On recognition of the damage, the responding officer and other officers right away taken off the handcuffs, rolled the subject matter around and notified the dispatcher to send EMS,” a VPD statement posted on Facebook claimed.

“Although the subject was becoming (taken) out of the handcuffs, the responding officer learned that while the personal was the issue of the 911 dispatch, he was not the topic with the felony warrants. Upon understanding this, the responding officer notified his supervisor of the incident. EMS arrived to examine the subject’s injuries but he declined healthcare cure and mentioned that he wished to leave. The subject matter was then produced from the scene,” VPD stated.

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CNN has attained out to the International Union of Police Associations to comment on the incident but has yet to hear again from the organization.

“We had the proper man or woman stopped, it is really just regrettable that the interaction, when you obtained numerous officers on the exact contact, there is some miscommunication all through radio traffic. And those people are matters that indeed, we can work on that as an agency, and work on continuing to teach our officers superior and better conversation expertise with every single other. But once more we did have the correct male stopped that was producing the dilemma at Walgreens, it is just regrettable he was not the 1 with the felony warrants,” Valdosta Law enforcement Main Leslie Manahan told CNN affiliate WALB.

The police office mentioned whilst it did not obtain any filed issues subsequent the incident, the shift supervisor was nonetheless notified, prompting a review system of the incident by the officer’s supervisor, Patrol Bureau Commander, Inner Affairs Division and Main of Police.

“It is unfortunately a terrible scenario but on behalf of the Valdosta law enforcement section and our officers, there was certainly no destructive intent,” Manahan explained.

Haugabrook tells CNN that there was no motive for that degree of power to be applied on any one, as the charges and warrants for the other person ended up all misdemeanors. Also, he claimed his shopper was non combative and was basically having a conversation with the officer when the incident occurred.

Haugabrook also claimed he believes the officers have been compelled to lie in their studies to address up the steps of Wheeler.

“We believe that that they fabricated their studies,” Haugabrook mentioned, including that he believes the officers committed “conspiracy and collusion to produce a wrong report to justify what Sgt. Wheeler did” for the reason that he is their supervisor.

CNN has not been capable to attain the officers or sergeant involved in the incident for remark.

CNN’s Madeline Holcombe contributed to this report.


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