Valdosta Police Department
Cops in Georgia slammed a man to the ground while arresting him, and he says they broke his wrist — problem is, they had the wrong guy and now he’s suing for excessive force.
Antonio Smith claims he was unjustly roughed up and had his rights violated back in February by the Valdosta Police Department as officers attempted to arrest him.
Video of the incident shows cops approach Smith for reported suspicious activity at a Walgreens nearby, but he insists he was waiting at the Western Union for money from his sister.
As Smith begged cops to look into it further, another officer arrived and abruptly bear-hugged Smith from behind and told him to put his hands behind his back. He then violently body-slammed him and told Smith he was under arrest for a felony warrant.
Smith was screaming in pain and in his lawsuit claims his wrist was broken as officers held him down. The video shows the cops were clearly confused about who they were supposed to arrest … and they realized Smith did NOT have a warrant out for his arrest.
According to the lawsuit … the officer “treated him less than a human being.” Smith claims once he was released, he still feared “additional ill-treatment” from the law enforcement around him, so he refused medical care.
Valdosta PD has released a statement admitting they made an error with the felony warrant, but insists Smith was the suspect reported for suspicious activity.
Police Chief Leslie Manahan says … “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.”
However, in the video and in the legal docs … Smith claims he was not doing anything illegal — just waiting for a wire transfer at Western Union.
Smith is suing the City of Valdosta, the officers involved in the incident and the police chief for damages for the excessive and unnecessary police force in violation of his rights. He also wants his medical expenses covered for his broken wrist … which he claims healed abnormally and may require surgery to fix.