Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pele Smith Sues the Lorain PD.

Researching use of force by the Lorain Police Department. Most of what I'm seeing fits the Justice Department's 2012 findings that there was a serious problem in the past, but it began to taper off after 2008, when the DoJ investigation began but before they released their final report.
There is, however, this case, where a guy named Pele Smith was stopped for jaywalking, but wound up having his face slammed into a patrol car hard enough to crack the windshield. As his lawyer notes, this fits one of the patterns mentioned in the DoJ report: excessive force for completely trivial stops.
The case has fits another pattern you see a lot: Smith eventually plead guilty (perhaps part of a plea bargain) to a bunch of charges involving resisting arrest and obstructing police business, without any mention of an underlying crime that might have triggered the stop to begin with. The police claim he tried to hide drugs by swallowing them, but no actual drug charges are filed.

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