A Georgia police sergeant has backed up the story of a teen who claims the local police chief assaulted him in the back of a police cruiser, reports WSB.
Lithonia Police Chief Roosevelt Smith has been accused of grabbing and choking 17-year-old Isiah Harvey on Feb. 5., after he was taken into custody for breaking into a home.
According to Harvey, Smith grabbed him by the chin and then around the throat, choking him for close to ten seconds.
Harvey’s attorney, Frank Smith, also stated that Smith used handcuffs on the teen in such a manner that it made his client bleed.
“He squeezed the handcuffs around my client’s wrists to the point where it immediately drew out blood and accused swelling,” Smith claimed.
Harvey’s father, Ricky Thomas, called what the police chief did “police brutality,” stating, “If I choked someone like that, they would lock me up. He should be locked up if you ask me. He should be charged with assault.”
The chief has admitted that he did grab the teen, saying the he was responding to being threatened and kicked, but an officer at the scene called what police chief did “unjustifiable.”
In a report submitted the day after the arrest, Sgt. Angela Hatchett wrote: “What I observed last night was wrong. Chief Smith and Captain L. Owens assaulted Mr. Harvey… Their actions were unjustifiable and unethical.”
“At some point, you have to decide that someone is lying — either Sgt. Hatchett is lying or the chief and that captain are lying,” attorney Smith said.
A city administrator, who was formerly the police chief is conducting an internal investigation.
Watch the video below from WSB: