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Shocking bodycam footage captures violent arrest, assault of innocent black man. Now he's suing police.
Image source: Facebook video screenshot

Shocking bodycam footage captures violent arrest, assault of innocent black man. Now he's suing police.

Hard to watch

A 46-year-old black man is suing the Valdosta, Georgia, Police Department for what he says is a civil rights violation and excessive force during a bogus arrest.

What are the details?

Police stopped Antonio Arnelo Smith on Feb. 8. Bodycam footage shows a black police officer speaking with Smith, who hands over his identification.

A white police officer can be seen approaching Smith from behind. He wraps his arms around a clearly frightened Smith, and slams him "face-first to the ground," according to the Associated Press.

Two other white officers arrive and handcuff Smith as he's on the ground. One of the officers tells him that he's being arrested for an outstanding warrant.

In the video, Smith can be heard screaming, "Oh my God, you broke my wrist!"

The black officer steps in, however, and tells the other three officers that Smith is not the man they're looking for.

Authorities released Smith without charges following the encounter.

The Valdosta Daily Times published body camera footage, which was received from Smith's legal team.

What is Smith doing now?

In addition to the four officers, Smith is suing the police chief, mayor, and others.

Smith says that his civil rights were violated during the encounter, in which police used excessive force.

Attorney Nathaniel Haugabrook, one of Smith's lawyers, said that Smith's encounter with the Valdosta police is nothing short of a "travesty."

"Nobody should be done that way," he added, insisting that the arrest "obviously [had] some racial tones to it."

Smith's suit, filed in in U.S. District Court, seeks unspecified monetary damages.

According to the Associated Press, Smith's legal team reportedly sent a letter to Valdosta officials requesting a $700,000 settlement prior to filing the suit.

Smith is also seeking a commitment from the Valdosta Police Department to reform its policing.

Anything else?

The city of Valdosta issued a statement in June announcing that police are conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

The city also stated that Smith never filed a complaint before filing his lawsuit on June 19.

In a statement, city spokesperson Ashlyn Johnson said,“The City of Valdosta and the Valdosta Police Department take any report of any injury to a citizen seriously."

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