Police officer shatters windshield of his police cruiser with handcuffed man’s face
Pele Smith, man who’s face was slammed by a police officer into the windshield
LORAIN, OH — Newly released footage shows a police officer from Lorain, Ohio slamming Pele Smith, a 32-year old African American man who was handcuffed at the time, into his police cruiser so hard that it cracked the windshield, and caused the glass to shatter.
Police officer shatters windshield
The incident happened back in 2014, but the dash cam video was obtained last month obtained exclusively by NBC’s local affiliate WKYC, and it clearly be seen that instead of opening the car door for Smith and placing him in the backseat, the officer escorting him throws him against the hood and windshield of his vehicle. Afterwards, Smith can be heard saying, “Bro… bro… why did you do that to me?”
After the incident, Smith was reported treated at a local hospital for injuries to his face. He has since filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and the four officers involved seeking unspecified damages, citing excessive force.
But why was he even being arrested?
Officers were reportedly investigating a drug complaint in the area, and Smith reportedly tried to destroy drug evidence by swallowing it. He also reportedly “physically resisted officers” as they tried to retrieve the evidence. Smith was later charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.
Police chief defends the officer’s actions.
Instead of disciplining the officer for excessive force, the county’s local police chief, Cel Rivera, is defending the officer’s actions. He says the department denies all allegations in the lawsuit, and insists that the video can easily be “misunderstood” by the public.
He said in a statement, “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.”