Fernando Smith never thought that a trip to the movies with his son would result in his own arrest, and lead to police raiding his business. But that’s exactly what happened. Back on May 17th, at the Country Club Mall, in Cumberland, Maryland, Smith was confronted by a mall security guard who thought he was up to no good.
As it turned out, Smith was just giving his vehicle a minute to warm up – a quirk of his vehicle, as he explained to the security guard. That didn’t seem to matter much to the rent-a-cop, who promptly called the police.
When they arrived, the police demanded identification from Smith, who asserted his rights. He had been at the movie theater at the mall, and was a paying customer. That didn’t stop the police from charging him with Trespassing and “Disorderly Conduct.”
“I could have never imagined taking my 7 year old son out for dinner and a movie would lead to me being disrespected and arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct right in front of him,” Smith explains.
He had forgotten his briefcase at work, one of two local car dealerships he owns. Realizing this, he had asked his secretary to bring his briefcase to him, so that he could continue spending time with his son.
“My secretary who was waiting for me to exit the movie to give me my briefcase.” But the mall cop thought that this looked like a drug deal, rather than a law abiding citizen being handed his property by his employee. Even after explaining what was going on, the rent-a-cop called the actual cops.
“Real cops arrive and immediately detained me and threatened to arrest me.”
That’s when Smith began recording the cops. Watch the video below…
On October 21st, Smith had his day in court. He beat the Trespassing charge but was convicted of “Disorderly Conduct” in spite of nothing disorderly being observed whatsoever.
Two days later, the West Virginia State Police with neighboring county sheriffs in Keyser, West Virginia, right next to Cumberland, Maryland raided his businesses.
They seized computers, cell phones – pretty much anything you would need to run a business. Since then, without invoices and records for his vehicles, he hasn’t effectively been able to run his businesses. In spite of the warrants served at his places of business, no illegal activity was determined to have occurred.
This is a clear instance of police harassment taken to an insane and mafia-like level. Don’t let these corrupt cops get away with it! Fernando was on Cop Block‘s Cop Rot Radio with Counter Current News tonight, discussing his case and calling on concerned citizens to help stand up against corrupt police and demand accountability. Help us get the word out about Fernando Smith’s case!
(Article by Moreh B.D.K. and Jackson Marciana)