Antonio Arnelo Smith

Black Man Who Was Violently Slammed by White Cop Offered $350K Settlement

Antonio Arnelo Smith, an African American man who was violently slammed to the ground by a police officer in Valdosta, Georgia, has been offered a $350,000 legal settlement.

Last year, Smith sued Valdosta police and other city officials, claiming officers used excessive force and violated his civil rights, seeking $700,000. The lawsuit was filed four months after the incident occurred in February 2020.

In a police bodycam video, Smith can be seen talking cooperatively to a Black police officer after handing over his driver's license as a white police officer walked behind him and suddenly pinned his hands before violently slamming him to the ground.

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"Oh my God, you broke my wrist!" Smith can be heard saying while two other officers held him down to handcuff him. An officer told him he was being arrested on an outstanding warrant until the Black police officer interjected, saying he was mistakenly identified.

Valdosta City officials are now offering a $350,000 legal settlement in exchange for Smith to drop all claims in the lawsuit. The settlement also proposed to create a citizen review board to help oversee local police and make policy recommendations.

"I imagine at this point it will move at lightning speed, in terms of a resolution," said Nathaniel Haugabrook, one of Smith's attorneys, according to AP News. He said Smith "wants to see all of this behind him."

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