Pele Smith has now filed a lawsuit against four officers of the Lorain Police Department in Ohio after being brutalized by an officer during a September 2014 arrest. While handcuffed, Officer Zachary Ferenec, is seen on dash cam footage throwing Smith’s face into the windshield while handcuffed, leaving the window shattered.
Lorain Police Captain Roger Watkins attempted to justify Ferenec’s actions by saying that slamming Smith’s face into the windshield was not intentional. “I know it doesn’t look good,” Captain Watkins said. “But our intention wasn’t for him to hit the windshield.”
Smith was being investigated for jaywalking and suspected of possessing drugs. The only evidence of drugs is the police report’s claim that police saw him swallow a bag of cocaine or heroin. However, when Smith was evaluated at a nearby hospital, no drugs were found in his system.
Regardless of the lack of evidence, Smith was charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing official police business and resisting arrest. He plead guilty as part of a plea deal.
Mark Petroff, Smith’s attorney, is horrified that police would brazenly treat a handcuffed man in such a callous fashion. “It’s sad. It’s frightening that an individual while in handcuffs has something like that happen to them,” said Petroff.
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