A man has filed a lawsuit against U.S police after his face was slammed against a patrol car windscreen with such force that it smashed.
Newly released dash cam footage obtained by WKYC, shows Pele Smith being escorted to the squad car while handcuffed in Lorain, Ohio, reports RT.com.
Smith was arrested while police were investigating drug complaints in the area, but instead of placing him in the backseat, the escorting officer threw him violently against the windscreen causing it to shatter.
Smith was treated for facial injuries following the incident, but despite the violent impact, the local police chief is defending his officer’s actions.
According to a statement by Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera, Smith tried to destroy drug evidence and ‘physically resisted officers’ – although the footage just shows him calling out to his mum to ‘look after his son’.
He has been charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest but has filed a lawsuit against the city and the four officers citing excessive force.
The suit specifically mentions Zachary Ferenec – the officer who pushed him into the windshield and also alleges that one officer, Michael Gidich began to ‘taunt and insult the bleeding [Smith]’ while he was being taken to hospital.
But Chief Rivera defended the officers, saying the department denies all allegations in the lawsuit.
He says the video can be easily misunderstood:
I would caution observers to not rush to judgment. Although it’s not easy to watch, police officers explain all of their actions in their police reports.
Despite the police chief calling Smith a violent drug trafficker, it turns out he has no felony convictions for violent crimes such as assault or robbery. However he does have prior convictions for drug offences and possessing a firearm.
Still, he was in cuffs, probably no need to slam his face through a windscreen.