Man sues Georgia police after suffering broken arm during false arrest
Antonio Arnelo Smith has filed a federal suit against the city and the officers who caused his injuries during an Feb, 8 incident of mistaken identity.
The police department in Valdosta, Georgia, is facing a lawsuit by a Black man who was the victim of mistaken identity and “unnecessary and excessive” use of force.
Antonio Arnelo Smith, 47, filed a federal suit last week against the city and the officers who caused his injuries during an Feb, 8 incident. Police bodycam captured the encounter, showing a sergeant slamming Smith to the ground after mistaking him for a suspect in a panhandling case.
Smith pleads his innocence but the officers on the scene are not trying to hear it. He is heard screaming in pain as they struggle to cuff him over an alleged warrant for his arrest, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.
Moments after Smith informs the sergeant that he broke his wrist, the patrolman who initially approached Smith finally realizes that they roughed up the wrong man.
Watch the madness unfold via the Twitter video below:
Three police officers stopped this man on the side of the road, accused him of suspicious activity, picked him up, slammed him down, broke his wrist, handcuffed him while he was screaming — then realized they had the wrong man.
Because – skin color…
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 24, 2020
“This is another guy,” the officer with the bodycam says. “The guy with the warrant’s over there.”
The cuffs are then removed and Smith is informed that an ambulance is on the way.
“I was getting ready to put my hands behind my back,” Smith said. “He forcibly picked me up.”
The disturbing encounter shows Smith is calm. He complies and provides ID when asked. The cops still opted to act as judge, jury and possibly executioner had they not realized their error.
Smith was later hospitalized and diagnosed with “distal radial and ulnar fractures,” per the lawsuit.
“From the moment Mr. Smith was slammed to the ground until he walked away, he cried and screamed in agonizing pain,” reads the lawsuit.
Smith’s lawyer, Nathaniel Haugabrook, said his client’s civil rights were violated.
He explained to the Valdosta Daily Times that Smith had the right “to be free from an unlawful arrest, unlawful detention and all of the other rights that goes along with us being citizens.”
Smith is reportedly seeking $700,000 in compensation.
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