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Video: “Handcuff Shooting” Victim Resisted Arrest

Video: “Handcuff Shooting” Victim Resisted Arrest

Three officers required to arrest non-compliant Charles Smith.

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 (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.


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BannedbytheGuardian | September 25, 2014 at 9:17 am

Your anti police pals from down thread won’t be happy.

It’s kinda grainy, but at the very beginning of the video I think I see him carrying a bag of skittles and can of Arizona Iced Tea.

    sjf_control in reply to Paul. | September 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Don’t forget the cigars!

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Paul. | September 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Probably not really ice tea though, but rather Watermelon Juice. This was indirection in the Zimmerman case. Ice tea was fairly innocuous, but Skittles+Watermelon Juice are 2/3 of the components of one version of Lean, a concoction that Martin seemed esp enamored with. Sure, ice tea is what the Arizona Ice Tea company is known for with most of us, but it was their watermelon drink that Martin bought with the Skittles.

Looks like y’all are going to have to invest in new “I am [police officer]” wristbands. Do you get a discount from your vendor if you reprint them with more names?

How ’bout them Beavercreek, OH police officers? Do they get wristbands for lighting up the dude walking around WalMart?

    Ragspierre in reply to Tex Detroit. | September 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

    For those who can…you know…READ…

    (CNN) — A grand jury in Ohio has decided not to indict police officers in the August shooting death of a 22-year-old man carrying an air rifle at a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio.

    “The grand jury listened to all the evidence, voted on it and decided that the police officers were justified in their use of force that day,” prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said on Wednesday.

    In a statement, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the U.S. Justice Department will review the shooting of Cincinnati resident John Crawford III.

    “Now that the state criminal investigation has finished, it is an appropriate time for the United States Department of Justice to look into whether any federal laws were violated during this shooting,” the statement said.

    Michael Wright, attorney representing Crawford’s family, said the decision against indicting was “incomprehensible.”

    “It makes absolutely no sense that an unarmed 22-year-old man would be killed doing what any American citizen does every day: Shopping at a Walmart store,” he said in a statement. “The Crawford family is extremely disappointed, disgusted and confused. They are heartbroken that justice was not done in the tragic death of their only son.”

    The statement added, “The Crawford family feels they have been victimized all over again and once again request that the U.S. Department of Justice conduct an independent investigation into the tragic death of John H. Crawford, lll.”

    Crawford was shot and killed by police at a Walmart in Beavercreek on August 5 while carrying an air rifle through the store. Police responded to the scene after a witness called 911 and told dispatchers that Crawford was walking around with a rifle and “waving it back and forth.”

    According to police, when officers arrived, Crawford did not comply with their commands to drop his weapon.

    He was shot twice, once in the elbow and once in the torso, Piepmeier said.

    Crawford died shortly after being transported to a nearby hospital. His death was ruled a homicide by gunshot wound to the torso, according to the local coroner’s office.

    Piepmeier, who led the team of prosecutors that presented evidence to the Greene County grand jury, called Crawford’s death “a perfect storm of circumstances.”

    First, there was the fact that an unwrapped air rifle was left on top of its box inside of the store. Next, the fact that Crawford decided to pick it up and carry it with him. And the fact that the 911 caller, identified in police reports as Ronald Ritchie, noticed the weapon in Crawford’s hand and called authorities.

    And finally, the fact that the gun bore such a strong resemblance to an actual automatic weapon.

    “It is very hard to tell the difference,” Piepmeier said.

    I know that trolling is what a troll does. But if you spent any meaningful time on this site, and assuming that you have rudimentary reading comprehension abilities, you would know that the people who post here are very critical of police abuses when they happen.

    What you’re referring to is not blind support for police, but rather a healthy skepticism, nay a strong disdain, for the politically driven progressive propaganda disguised as journalism that poisons our society today.

    Let me tell what happens Tex Detriot aka Pajama Boy, to trolls that come to this site thinking they are going to present an alternate viewpoint that will explode the neanderthal conservite’s heads.

    They crawl away with their tail between their legs, because they came to a gun fight with a hot dog. You lazy liberal trolls are so delusional you think that people here haven’t heard the echo chamber talking points? You don’t think that they have 20 refutations of said talking points? You are to delusional and lazy to understand that your “opponent” actually has a brain, and you aren’t really strong enough to stand the onslaught showing you how much you really don’t know.

    Good luck Pajama Boy, maybe you really are “the one”.

    I am looking for a blue band front license plate. Low keyed but elegant.

Like to know what “waving around” meant, and who saw/reported it. Did the local report it and the cops expect it? Did the cops see it?
How clear was the order to put the thing down? If three cops are yelling confusing orders, it covers the shooting, since at least one of them can say the vic wasn’t complying.

There’s actual waving, the kind which creates a breeze. There’s handling it with interest.
There’s shouldering it to look through the sights.
There’s almost dropping it and catching it.
There’s shifting it to the other hand in order to pick up some other piece of merchandise.
There’s pointing at people, and possibly laughing.
Like to see a picture of it.

    Me too. I’ve seen and read about way too much police abuse. Just here in Texas in the past few years I can think of several people shot by cops under questionable circumstances, the last of which shockingly resulted in a Murder 2 indictment against the cop. Then there is the litany of tasings, beatings and finger-raping of women on the side of the road by DPS. I think the proliferation of video devices in public places is a very good thing indeed. Oh yeah, that reminds me of all the police who seem hellbent on harassing and arresting people for exercising their constitutional right to video-tape a public servant in the course of performing said public service.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Richard Aubrey. | September 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Actually the “waving around” has nothing to do with the police response other than that from the police perspective they were dealing with an armed suspect. The 911 caller used the term “waving around” not the cops.

    Also when confronted with police who are screaming at you, regardless if you can understand their instructions and you are holding an airguns that looks like an M-16, which I believe is what he had, your first response should be to either raise both hands an the air rifle above your head or just drop the air rifle. At least that is what any halfway intelligent person would do. Because I have some bad news for some folks, if I see someone with what appears to be an M-16 in a freaking wal-mart and he sweeps the barrel in my direction, well my response is gonna involve loud noises.

    From you comment I guess you believe that the cops should have to wait for someone to actually shoot at them before they respond? Also, shouldering a rifle and looking down the sights isn’t the only way to hit someone, you can just let go at the hip and still do damage.

    “How clear was the order to put the thing down? If three cops are yelling confusing orders, it covers the shooting, since at least one of them can say the vic wasn’t complying.”

    That one scares the crap out of me. I’ve seen videos where several cops are barking conflicting orders … so which one do you obey?

    There ought be just one officer giving orders – in fact, that should be law.

It also could be possible that they discovered an empty holster on the perp and were looking to see if he had ditched the weapon.

    That’s an interesting thought, but in my experience most bad guys don’t use holsters.

    One reason is that the mere presence of the holster is sufficient for a jury to infer gun possession, even if no gun is actually found, so they can end up with the gun possession conviction based on the holster alone, even if they managed to ditch the gun.

    Without the holster, as long as they can effectively ditch the gun they’re not liable to that charge.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Andrew Branca. | September 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Interesting. Took a basic defensive firearms class this summer. Teacher was NRA certified and long time LEO. He pointed out how stupid it was to put a gun down your pants, as well as trying to shoot it sideways, etc. Never understood why it was so popular to do such a dumb thing – you are liable to drop the gun, or have it discharge when trying to pull it out of your pants, shooting off your foot, etc. Now I have an answer.

      But he also cautioned against ankle holsters, claiming that they invariably work loose. And told of one partner whose ankle gun came loose during a foot chase. He later told his partner that he wouldn’t chase suspects with him on foot, if the partner’s spare gun kept arriving at suspects before either of them did.

        Personally, I’ve tried high-quality ankle holsters as a means of primary carry, and just hated it. Not because the gun ever felt like it was insecure, but because it was terribly inefficient to get to it while still being able to maximize other tactical imperatives (e.g. move away from the fight, shift to cover/concealment, fight with weak hand while presenting with right, etc.).

        But I have a good friend, Federal law enforcement (career, almost retired, and not a desk-jockey) and US Army combat vet, two wars. A Soldier’s Medal recipient, too, for those who might know what that is. ( Involved walking into a mine field to carry out a couple of injured civilians; wouldn’t wait for EOD because not enough daylight left.)

        For the couple of decades or so I’ve known him he’s ALWAYS carried a .380 in an ankle holster. Always.

        The key is that it’s not his primary weapon, that’s a Glock 23. It’s not even his backup gun, which is a 27. The ankle gun is his THIRD gun. And he’s not likely transitioning to THAT unless he’s also already dropped all his edged weapons (or left them stuck in somebody).

        And, yes, I feel very safe in his company. 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Semper Why in reply to Bruce Hayden. | September 26, 2014 at 8:52 am

        “Never understood why it was so popular to do such a dumb thing”

        Mr. Branca has covered the lack of a holster thing. The shooting sideways is pure Hollywood and it has filtered down from movie directors to punks who don’t have decent firearms training.

        Why turn the gun sideways? So the camera can see the actor’s face when he’s pointing it at the camera.

I keep my Glock 21 duct-taped to my shooting hand when I’m in public. I’m fine as long as I don’t have to take a piss.

You don’t have a clue what I’m thinking. The WalMart shooting is good or not depending on circumstances. If the guy is not waving it around when the cops arive–and we have no idea if the caller was a hysteric who thought picking the thing up was “waving”–then that’s an issue. If he does not drop it, that’s an issue.
If he points it at the cop, that’s an issue.
I should say that, as a purist, I preferred the M14 which we had in Basic to the M16 we had later. But I know my way around a 16, plus everything in the rifle battalion but the heavy mortar. I also know things have changed and it’s hard to keep up with the conformations of the latest, say, bullpup piece of equipment. I recall Mattel made some realistic looking stuff. Except for the spring winder on the right side, our fathers thought their submachine gun looked uncomfortably Wehrmacntian.
So I don’t have a problem with a cop thinking an air rifle made to attract the testosterone-deficient is a real weapon.
I think the problem may be with the caller. What did he see and what could a reasonable person be assumed to take from that? In effect, he set the cops up. If the caller had seen that it was an air rifle…and not called….

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Richard Aubrey. | September 25, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I understand, but I have given up the search for “reasonable” people in these situations. I had someone call the cops on me because I took my vest off to unload groceries and I was carrying, however, I was in my yard, in my driveway. I get the bags in the house and an am happily putting things away while a nice steak marinates and then someone is banging on my door.

    I answered the door to 4 cops, and yep I still had my gun on my porch. They saw my gun and the grocery bags and the lead on just started laughing. She asked if I was unloading groceries with my firearm exposed; to which I answered, “yep”. Basically, they just made sure I hadn’t been waving my gun around and then left. They never even asked me to disarm and I was outside with them, I just made sure never to step off of my property.

    Reasonable is in short supply these days. Now I do have a question about why someone was watching me unload groceries.

I will give the DA credit, she seems like a pretty smart lady.

It appears the cops think, rightly, that CCL guys are about as threatening or helpful as anybody can be. I have been told, sotto voce, that cops like the idea of CCL, or even count on them.
But the point is what the caller told the cops. If the caller was a guns-are-icky asshole, or a hysteric, or had an IQ about equivalent of a sea slug, the whole thing might have been his $%%^^^&**fault.