Smith, a Black man, is suing the Georgia metropolis of Valdosta and quite a few Valdosta Police Department officers for extreme power and for violating his civil rights after he was slammed to the bottom as he was wrongly arrested.
Smith displayed his wrist to Cuomo, which was damaged on the time and nonetheless has a big protrusion. Though Smith said he forgave the officers on the time, his legal professional Nathaniel Haugabrook informed Cuomo that he faults the second officer on the scene for escalating the state of affairs into bodily violence.
“The first officer, as the video shows, is having a pretty normal conversation with Mr. Smith,” Haugabrook said. “Mr. Smith complied with all of his directives, provided his ID, denied the situation of being the suspicious person, and you have another officer who comes on the scene and just takes over.”
The metropolis legal professional was served with a duplicate of the lawsuit final week, and “the city has not had time to review the document and therefore cannot comment on the content of the suit,” in accordance to a VPD assertion launched the identical day the go well with was served.
CNN has reached out to the International Union of Police Associations.
Video exhibits the physique slam
VPD launched a five-minute physique digital camera video of the incident from Sergeant Bill Wheeler, and Haugabrook despatched CNN an 11-minute physique digital camera video from Officer Dominic Henry.
The incident started on February eight when a Walgreens worker known as 911 as a result of a person was asking prospects for cash, Haugabrook beforehand informed CNN over the cellphone.
After one officer approached the person, one other buyer informed a separate officer that the person who had been harassing them had walked down the road, Haugabrook said.
Smith was down the road when Henry approached him and requested for his identification, which Smith did, Haugabrook said.
Smith informed Cuomo he was not doing something improper, simply ready for his sister to ship him cash. He additionally said that he informed the officers on the time he was not doing something improper and informed them to name his sister in Florida to verify.
The video exhibits one other officer, whose badge was seen within the video and was recognized to CNN by Haugabrook as Wheeler, come up behind Smith and put him in a bear hug.
Smith asks, “What are you doing?”
Wheeler says, “Listen to him and put your hands behind your back,” earlier than he slams him to the bottom, will get on prime of him and cuffs him.
The approach Wheeler was holding Smith prohibited him from placing his arms behind his again and precipitated Smith’s wrist to break when he was slammed to the bottom, Haugabrook said.
“I don’t think anyone can listen to his crying and wailing, the agony he’s in, without their heart dropping,” Haugabrook said of the video.
Haugabrook informed CNN his shopper refused medical consideration on the scene as a result of he was scared and needed to go residence after the incident. Later within the night Smith did go to a hospital the place they confirmed that his wrist was damaged, Haugabrook said.
While he’s on the bottom, Smith is heard crying out, “Oh my God! You broke my wrist,” earlier than an officer says, “Stop” and “It might be broke.”
Smith continues to cry and wail saying “Oh Jesus, it hurts,” time and again earlier than the officers take one cuff off.
“This is the other guy. The guy with the warrant is over there,” Henry tells the opposite three and factors down the highway.
‘We had the suitable particular person stopped’ however misunderstood data
Before the arrest, the physique slam and the damaged wrist, there was a misinterpretation of knowledge over the police band.
Police responded to the Walgreens with data that an African American male carrying a brown hoodie and blue pants was harassing prospects, Valdosta Police said in an announcement posted to Facebook.
Two officers independently looking the scene discovered two completely different males who matched the outline: one, who turned out not to be the person that the 911 name was made about, had felony warrants. And the opposite, who was the topic of the 911 name, didn’t.
But that data was misinterpreted.
“The responding officer believed this individual was the subject of the 911 call and was the individual with felony warrants,” the assertion said. That officer approached and suggested him to put his arms behind his again. When he pulled his arms ahead and tensed his physique, the officer “used a physical control technique to place the subject on the ground” to be handcuffed, the assertion said.
While handcuffing Smith, the officer observed that he appeared to have been injured and instantly eliminated handcuffs and requested the dispatcher to ship emergency medical companies, the assertion said.
“We had the right person stopped, it’s just unfortunate that the communication, when you got multiple officers on the same call, there is some miscommunication during radio traffic. And those are things that yes, we can work on that as an agency, and work on continuing to train our officers better and better communication skills with each other. But again we did have the right guy stopped that was causing the problem at Walgreens, it’s just unfortunate he was not the one with the felony warrants,” Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan informed CNN affiliate WALB.
The police division said though it didn’t obtain any filed complaints following the incident, the shift supervisor was nonetheless notified, prompting a evaluate means of the incident by the officer’s supervisor, Patrol Bureau Commander, Internal Affairs Division and Chief of Police.
Smith was compliant and easily having a dialog when the incident occurred, Haugabrook informed CNN. He additionally said there was no motive to use that stage of power.
CNN has not been ready to attain the officers or sergeant concerned within the incident for remark.
CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.