Antonio Arnelo Smith Wiki
Antonio Arnelo Smith Biography
Who is Antonio Arnelo Smith?
Antonio Arnelo Smith, 47, filed a lawsuit against the Valdosta City Council and other city officials in the US District Court a year ago.
Georgia officials have offered a $ 350,000 settlement to a black man injured last year when a police officer violently knocked him to the ground after mistaking him for someone with a pending warrant.
A Valdosta City Council spokeswoman, Ashlyn Johnson, confirmed the settlement offer on Friday.
In addition to the $ 350,000 settlement, the city, which is located in southern Georgia just north of the Florida state line, also created a citizen review board to help monitor local law enforcement and make policy recommendations.
How old is Antonio Arnelo Smith?
He is 47 year old.
Antonio Arnelo Smith, 47, filed a lawsuit against Valdosta City Council in Georgia
In exchange for $ 350,000 and the creation of a citizen review board, the city said Smith would drop all claims in his lawsuit.
Nathaniel Haugabrook, one of Smith’s attorneys, said he is still reviewing the proposal.
Smith argued in his lawsuit that officers used excessive force and violated his civil rights during the ordeal on February 8, 2020.
Officers confronted Smith after a pharmacy employee called police to report that a man was harassing customers and asking for money outside.
Officers found two suspects nearby who fit the description. They learned that one of them had an outstanding arrest warrant. The other was Smith.
Body camera footage from the incident showed Smith speaking cooperatively with a black police officer as a white officer, identified as Lieutenant Billy Wheeler, slipped behind him.
The white officer then pinned Smith’s hands behind his back and threw him face down on the ground.
‘My God, you broke my wrist!’ Smith screamed on the recording when two other white Valdosta officers restrained and handcuffed him.
When an officer told Smith that he was being arrested with a pending warrant, another immediately intervened that he was the wrong man.
Attorneys for Wheeler, the officer seen on camera wrapping Smith in a bear hug and slamming the man to the ground, said in court documents that he mistakenly believed Smith was the wanted man.
Police released Smith without charge and left the scene without waiting for paramedics to arrive.
Smith’s attorney said Friday that his client just “wants to see all of this behind her.”
He said creating a citizens’ panel to help oversee the Valdosta Police Department had been Smith’s top priority in the lawsuit.
In a letter to city officials seeking a settlement before the lawsuit was filed, Smith’s attorneys also asked for $ 700,000.
Filed four months after Smith’s violent encounter with police, the lawsuit came amid a nationwide outcry over police brutality against people of color, sparked by the May 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Antonio Arnelo Smith Quicks and Facts
- Antonio Arnelo Smith, 47, filed a lawsuit against Valdosta City Council and other city officials in U.S. District Court a year ago
- Smith was tackled to the ground last July by a white officer who had mistaken him for someone with an outstanding warrant
- Body camera footage of the incident showed Smith screaming out ‘you broke my wrist’ after being slammed to the ground
- Valdosta City Hall on Friday offered Smith a $350,000 settlement and vowed to create a citizen review board to help oversee local police
- Smith’s attorney said his client is still reviewing the settlement proposal