WATCH: Black-Man Body Slammed By Police For Literally Doing Nothing
A 46-year old Black man is suring the Valdosta Police Department for $700,000 after he was profiled as a suspect in a panhandling case and subsequently body-slammed to the ground in February, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.
- Antonio Arnello Smith and his attorney are alleging the department's excessive use of force was a civil rights violation. The $700,000 suit is to recover physical, mental, and emotional injuries to the defendant. The lawsuit is demanding a jury trial.
- City officials said in a statement to the Valdosta Times that they could not comment on the suit, as they were not familiar enough with its contents.
- The 11-minute body cam video was given to the Valdosta Times this week, which shows an officer body slamming Smith to the ground as he complies with what his attorney described as an unlawful arrest.
- Though no information was provided about the panhandling suspect, the police profiled Smith as the suspect. Smith can be heard saying, “I wasn’t doing anything,” after being slammed to the ground.
The Valdosta Times reported,
They tell him that a warrant had been issued for his arrest; at this point, the patrolman who initially approached the man informs the others that the suspect with the warrant is up the street.
The sergeant says, “I thought it was the one with the warrant.”
The first patrolman clarifies the situation with the other officers, and then, they attempt to help the man with his injury. They tell him an ambulance is on the way. The sergeant walks to his patrol car.
At this point, the officers learn a scan on the man’s license returns “good.”
The man begins to nurse his left arm but refuses medical attention.
“I was getting ready to put my hands behind my back,” he said in the video. “He forcibly picked me up.”
According to court documents, Smith sustained “‘distal radial and ulnar fractures’ and was fitted for a sling before being discharged on pain medication from the hospital. He was referred to an orthopedic surgeon.”
The police maintain they believed they had a warrant for Smith’s arrest and that he was resisting arrest. No actions have been taken against the officers involved to date.