There’s been some video surveillance footage released of the arrest of Charles Smith, the 29-year-old paroled convict who was arrested by police on 7 outstanding warrants and then shot and killed when he allegedly threatened the officers with a hidden firearm.

The footage comes from within and immediately outside the convenience store in which Smith was arrested.  The outside footage isn’t of much interest, as it merely shows the handcuffed Smith being placed into the rear of a patrol car, and ends before his later violent actions occurred.

The interior footage, however, is interesting on a couple of points.  The first, shorter piece of video shows Smith at the checkout counter of the convenience store as he talks with the clerk, with the camera placed above and behind him.  Two officers walk through the front door and seek to place Smith under arrest.  The 6′ 7″ paroled convict with a history of deadly-force violence and flight from police is immediately non-compliant, and it takes a third officer participating to finally secure a resistant Smith.  The video ends when the handcuffed Smith is led out of the convenience store.

Here’s that first video:

The second video shows the same action as the first–the non-compliant arrest–but this time from a side angle.  More importantly, however, this video continues after Smith has been led out.  At about the 2:55 mark one of the officers returns.  He appears to be looking the ground; he then picks up Smith’s dropped ball cap, and then appears to look around some more, as if he has lost something.

He leaves after a few seconds, but at about the 4:10 mark he returns with another officer.  They are now clearly looking for some item that might have fallen to the floor, perhaps during their struggle with Smith, to the extent of pulling a cabinet freezer away from the wall to look behind it.

Just speculating, of course–but is it possible they are looking a police firearm?  A backup pistol, maybe suddenly missing from an ankle holster? A gun that might have become dislodged during the struggle of the arrest and swept up by Smith?

At this point, it’s impossible to know what they were looking for. Still, it seems indisputable they were looking for something, and something worth a rather thorough search.

Here’s that second video.

In other news, WTOV news had an exclusive interview with District Attorney Meg Heap who assures that this matter will be presented to a Grand Jury once the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has completed its report.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.