Sunday, November 20, 2016

More on Lorain PD use of force

While I wasn't paying attention, the dashcam video was released for the arrest of Pele Smith. Smith is suing the Lorain Police Department for smashing his head against a cruiser windshield.

Pele Smith was stopped for jaywalking, apparently after there were numerous complaints from neighbors about him selling drugs. He appears to have done something to resist arrest and possibly swallow drugs he was carrying. The video picks up with Smith already cuffed and on the ground. The police walk him to the cruiser whose dashcam we are looking through. Smith is yelling something repeatedly, possibly "Mom!" It doesn't look like he is physically resisting, though. When he reaches the cruiser, the police slam his head into the windshield of the cruiser hard enough to crack the glass. One of the officers says "Shut the fuck up. Do you have any weapons on you?"

During the ride to the hospital one of the arresting officer sits next to him and they argue about what happened. It is clear that they have had frequent interactions in the past. At various times during the argument, Smith admits to using drugs and carrying enough for his own use. Other times he says he didn't do nothing. At all times he strenuously denies dealing and denies resisting arrest, saying "I didn't fight you." The arresting officer, for his part, says that Smith brought all these problems on himself, and does this every time he gets in trouble.

There is also a video of a press conference with community leaders that I haven't watched yet.