Video shows man's encounter with Clayton County police

by: Mark Winne Updated:


CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A cellphone video of a suspect being shocked with a stun gun is at the center of a volatile investigation in Clayton County.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne has been digging into it and has talked to the young woman who recorded the video.

The lawyer for the police sergeant involved emailed Winne and said any viewer can see Sgt. A.E. Smithwick followed police protocol when someone resists arrest.

"The Police Department is currently investigating this entire incident," Dep. Chief Gina Hawkins with the Clayton County Police Department said. "This administration does take this complaint very seriously."

Charmaine McKeever said she was the woman behind the camera on her cellphone during an encounter between her boyfriend, Mardravious Obie, and Clayton County police.

"It was a Taser," McKeever told Winne. "They were about to pull off, then they stopped and I'm like, 'What is going on?'"

An incident report by Smithwick suggests on the way to jail after a traffic stop, Obie "began to violently kick at the bars on my side windows."

The sergeant pulled over, had another officer activate his camera and Obie allegedly kicked Smithwick.

The report said two officers removed Obie placed him on the ground and he was shackled.

"You did have to tell him get in the car?" Winne asked McKeever.

"Right," McKeever said.

"Was he still resisting when he was Tasered?" Winne asked.

"Oh no," McKeever said.

The report suggests Obie had resisted attempts to place him in the car, so Smithwick used a Taser technique "in an attempt to get him to comply."

The report said, "Witness No. 2 came forward as I extended my left arm and I made contact with her right arm/shoulder area."

"He said, 'You need to move out the way,'" McKeever said.

Mckeever said she was witness No. 2 and disputes the sergeant's account.

A statement from attorney Steve Mixon said Smithwick is a well-respected officer who has no past complaints of excessive use of force and "Sgt. Smithwick denies any wrongdoing."

Mixon suggests Smithwick is one of roughly two dozen officers to file race discrimination charges against the Police Department, which he alleges has used the incident to retaliate against him by reassigning him to the dog pound and taking away his gun and his badge

"Absolutely, the Clayton County Police Department does not conduct retaliation," Hawkins said.

Winne asked for a copy of the Taser policy for the police department under an open records request. It said among other things Taser use is prohibited unless exigent circumstances are present against handcuffed suspects.

The policy also said a Taser will not be used against suspects offering only passive resistance.

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