On August 11th, the officer that killed Sylville Smith, had an excessive force complaint filled against him. The incident involved a man named Ronnie, and occurred on April 15th 2016 at the corner of Sherman and Capitol.
(Still-Shot of Ronnie obtained by Fox6 from the body camera footage)
As Milwaukee’s Fox6 reported:
Ronnie filed the notice of claim and injury with the City of Milwaukee Attorney’s Office on August 11th. It claims that Ronnie was “injured by Milwaukee police officers [after]…officers illegally stopped and detained him…used excessive, unreasonable force…”
Two days after Ronnie’s lawyer filed the excessive force claim, one of the officers named in the claim shot and killed Sylville Smith.
“Two bicycle police officers pulled to a vehicle that I was a passenger in. I believed they signaled me to move the vehicle. I attempted to move the vehicle. I was snatched out of the vehicle, slammed to the ground on my face, Tased by both officers,” Ronnie said.
In a police report obtained by FOX6 News, the officer wrote his account of the events:
“I observed the front passenger…holding a clear plastic baggie which he concealed in his right hand. I asked what is that in your hand? [The subject] “immediately jumped over to the driver’s seat in an attempt to flee.”
The officer who shot and killed Sylville Smith use a Taser on Ronnie.
These officers reacted like this over an alleged plastic bag? They claim he was holding a “clear plastic bag,” but they didn’t know what was in it. I would like to know what they thought Ronnie was going to do with said plastic bag. Ronnie claims he had nothing in his hands.
Fox6 continues with:
“He had a plastic bag. I didn’t see what it was, but he tried to jump over to the driver’s seat and jump out. I don’t know what happened. There was some sort of struggle where [the officer] couldn’t control him,” an officer is heard saying in the body camera recording.
“They claimed they did this because I had a bag in my hand. I never had a bag in my hand. They never found a bag. They even took me to the district after I was released from the hospital for the injuries. They took me to the district and strip searched me and they still never found a bag,” Ronnie said.
Ronnie says his face was injured as it slammed onto the pavement. He told FOX6 News he was taken to the hospital, medically cleared and booked for resisting arrest. The charge was later dropped.
“At the time my jaw was in so much pain, I really thought it was fractured,” Ronnie said.
“Well nobody told you to jump over the scene and take off. You didn’t have to,” an officer is heard saying in the body camera recording.
Ronnie said he is upset that the officer’s body camera wasn’t turned on until after the confrontation and a Taser had already been used on him. The audio pops in 30 seconds later.
This is not the first time Ronnie has been arrested or harassed by the Milwaukee Police department. There is a history of arrests and subsequent dismissals. The incidents that have occurred in Milwaukee as of late speaks to a culture of “shotty” policing and a heavy handed approach that residents of Milwaukee have ” grown accustomed to.”
(Article by Jaimes Campbell)