It’s basically no longer possible to do your job as a police officer.
In today’s climate, people can resist arrest, and instead of them getting in trouble, the cop does. Welcome to 2020.
In Georgia, a police officer who used a Taser on a woman who was resisting arrest has been fired after a video of the incident went viral on Tik Tok.
NBC News is reporting that a Gwinnett County police officer, Michael Oxford “violated our policy and did not meet our core values” in connection with the arrest of Kyndesia Smith on Aug. 18.
The department’s statement continued:
“For this reason, the employment of Officer Oxford has been terminated as of August 21st,
“We strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes mutual respect within the community and our peers.”
Remember that term…”mutual respect.” We will refer to it later.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Oxford is white…Smith is black. In 2020, this doesn’t end well for the officer.
According to the New York Post, Oxford was dispatched to a home in the town of Loganville on the report of a damaged car. According to the complainant, a group of people had thrown a bottle at her car which contained an unknown liquid inside, citing an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story.
When police arrived at the scene, the complainant showed them surveillance video, which identified a woman, Aytra Thomas, who was on a porch across the street. The complainant told Oxford that one of the women involved had threatened to “kick her son in the head.”
Oxford went across the street to follow up and Thomas, who was wearing a white tank top and pants matching the description of the woman who had thrown the bottle.
Oxford was speaking to Thomas when her daughter, Kyndesia Smith stuck her nose into the situation and started shouting at the officer, according to an internal police report.
Oxford stated that the shouting and interference of Thomas in his investigation made it:
“difficult to speak with Aytra and further conduct my investigation.”
He told Smith she needed to be quiet and move away or she would be placed in jail on obstruction charges, according to the police report obtained by the Journal-Constitution.
Oxford wrote in his report:
“The other people that were on scene with her continued to yell and scream at me, making it very difficult to speak with Aytra and further conduct my investigation.”
In the viral video, Smith can be heard saying:
“I’m not going nowhere”
“You’re on my property. We did not call you.”
Remember the above…”mutual respect.” Defined- “(of a feeling or action) experienced or done by each of two or more parties toward the other or others.” “I’m not going nowhere” and “You’re on our property.” Sounds mutually respectful to us. But it gets better…or worse.
Oxford attempted to place Smith under arrest, at which point Smith hid behind her mother, which led Oxford to start trying to take her into custody by grabbing her.
Smith refused Oxford’s orders to “get on the ground” while resisting arrest, at which time he fired his Taser at her, causing her to fall into some bushes underneath the porch, according to the video.
Oxford wrote in his report:
“I then utilized (an) arm lock/leverage technique on Smith’s left arm in order to get the left arm behind her back to be handcuffed,”
Smith continued to resist arrest as being taken to the patrol car, kicking Oxford in the head, face and shoulder several times, police said.
Smith was eventually placed under arrest, however police say while she was being arrested she kicked Oxford. She was charged with felony obstruction and simple battery against a police officer. She was released on bond on Wednesday, August 19th.
A press release issued after Smith’s arrest read as follows, in part:
“After several warnings, the officer told Smith that she was under arrest. Smith resisted a lawful command and refused to be placed in handcuffs.
After refusing to be placed in handcuffs, she has warned that she would be tased. After she resisted the officer’s commands she was tased and placed in handcuffs. After she was placed in handcuffs she kicked the officer and continued to be uncooperative.”
Prior to firing Oxford, the department issued the following statement:
“The police department takes all use of force seriously,” said police spokesman Cpl. Collin Flynn. “All use of force cases are administratively reviewed through the chain of command. An investigation into this incident is being conducted.”
According to Thomas, she felt his use of force was unnecessary since she claims he (Oxford) was “never in any danger.”
Thomas told Channel 2 Action News:
“Her side where the Taser went in is messed up,”
“Her neck, her back, my shoulder. It ain’t have to go that way.”
Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training records show that Oxford had worked for the department since February 2019, and had no disciplinary history. POST records showed he graduated from Gwinnett’s police academy last August.
NBC News said they reached out to the police union which represents Gwinnett County officers; however, they were unable to get a response.
Now here is the irony. In a press release, the agency said that Oxford’s use of force fell within the department’s policy. However, they said they had an issue with the conduct of Oxford during the arrest.
The agency said:
“That investigation looked at whether proper de-escalation techniques were used, and whether Officer Oxford violated our policy based on the manner in which he handled the incident,
“Our policy states that each member of this department shall consider it his or her duty to be of service to the public and to render that service in a kind, considerate and patient manner.”
Apparently even when you are being verbally berated and assaulted. It continued:
“One of our core values is courtesy. We strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes mutual respect with the community and our peers. The investigation in this case has shown that Officer Oxford violated our policy and did not meet our core values. For this reason, the employment of Officer Oxford has been terminated.”
Perhaps if Oxford had given Smith a lollipop and thanked her for her “kind” words, he would still have a job.