Did this Officer use too much force? The Police Chief defends him. Watch and decide for yourself…
Dashcam footage shows a violent impact between a handcuffed man’s face and a windshield. The police officer responsible for the violent incident, however, is being defended by the local Police Chief.
The event happened in Lorain, Ohio. Pele Smith was being escorted to a squad car while wearing handcuffs. Smith was eventually placed in the back seat of the car, but not before being slammed, as described earlier. He was later treated for facial injuries at Mercy Regional Medical Center.
There had been drug complains in the neighborhood, and police state that Smith tried to destroy evidence by placing it in his mouth. He then “physically resisted” when officers tried to obtain it.
Smith later pled guilty to tampering with evidence, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.
Smith has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, seeking unspecified damages for excessive force.
Zachary Ferenec, the officer who introduced Smith to the windshield, is specifically named in the lawsuit. The other officers are implicated, to a degree for not intervening.
Allegedly, another officer, Michael Gidich, taunted and insulted Smith as he bled on the way to the hospital.
The Police Chief, Cel Rivera, continues to defend the officers, and denies the allegations in the lawsuit. He says the video can be easily misunderstood by those who do not know the other details.
“I would caution observers to not rush to judgment relative to the actions of the police officers on scene. Although it is not easy to watch, police officers explain all of their actions in their police reports.”
Rivera calls Smith a “violent drug trafficker” who was known to the police, though he has no felony convocations for violent crimes. He does have prior convictions for firearms possession and drug offenses.
So, did the officer go to far in slamming Smith into the windshield of that car? Dashcam video is certainly making the officer’s argument a bit more complicated.
Watch the video and decide for yourself.