LORAIN, Ohio (WFLA) – A civil rights lawsuit is filed against a city and several police officers in Ohio after a man arrested for jaywalking claims his head was smashed into a windshield by officers.
The dash cam video from September 2014 shared by WKYC shows Lorain Police officers walking Pele Smith to the police cruiser. Smith can be seen talking to the officers when suddenly his face gets slammed into the windshield, shattering the glass.
Police officers were investigating a drug complaint in the neighborhood when they arrested Smith for jaywalking.
Smith filed a civil rights lawsuit last month against the city and several police officers.
He also alleged that the officers were taunting him while he was bleeding in the back of the car.
Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera said in a statement released this week that the video “could be misunderstood.” The chief urged people not to rush to judgment and called Smith a ‘violent drug trafficker saying that the officers put him on the hood to “gain control and conduct a search.”
Smith was charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing official business and resisting arrest.
WKYC found that Smith had no felony convictions for violent crimes, but has a record for drug offenses and firearm possession.
“He didn’t kick, he didn’t spit, he didn’t do anything to deserve that,” Nina Turner, Former Ohio State Senator told WKYC.