WATCH: Cop Charged with Felony after Caught on Video Striking Man with Car
A Missouri cop was arrested earlier today after he was caught on video striking a man with his car before beating, kicking and eventually arresting him
Florissant Police Detective Joshua Smith has been charged with felony assault, misdemeanor assault and armed criminal action on June 2. The man he struck was innocent, just another black man matching the description. In this case, the cops said the vehicle they were pursuing matched the description of one involved in a shooting in Ferguson.
However, no guns were found in the car and no other evidence was found linking them to the shooting.
"I believe what this detective did was simply an accident," said his attorney, Scott Rosenblum, according to KMOV 4.
And that excuse may have worked had it not been caught on camera which left prosecutors no doubt it was intentional.
The case is being prosecuted by authorities in St. Charles County due to a conflict of interest in Wesley Bell’s office. St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar previously called the video "shocking and disturbing."
"Immediately thereafter the victims, you see is knocked down, he's in tremendous pain and he's screaming. He gets up and he tries to run away and realizes he can't do that. So he falls in the yard, which is just about six feet away from the point of impact. And he's on his back and you see officer smith before he tries to apprehend the victim he kicks him and later strikes him, Lohmar said during a press conference Wednesday. "That would constitute the misdemeanor assault charges that we have filed."
Smith has been sued in the past for using his police SUV to ram citizens into submission.
According to a 2017 lawsuit:
Plaintiff asserts that he was being followed by Florissant Police Officers Joshua Smith, Steven Beckman and Brian Panus, despite a direct order from Sergeant Anthony Mocca to stop following plaintiff in his vehicle. Plaintiff claims that he stopped his vehicle in the City of Florissant, and he put his hands out his driver's side window, but Officer Smith "rammed" his vehicle with his patrol car. Plaintiff further asserts that even though he had his hands out the window, Officer Beckman tased him without warning, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and hit his head on the door of his vehicle.
Plaintiff claims that these actions by defendants resulted in plaintiff being charged with property damage, assault in the second degree and leaving the scene of an accident. Plaintiff asserts that defendants acted in a conspiracy against plaintiff, giving false testimony to Phil Busby about the actions that occurred, as well as the City of Florissant's insurance company. Plaintiff claims that defendants violated his due process rights during the course of his arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment, as well as caused him emotional distress. In essence, plaintiff is asserting that he was falsely arrested and imprisoned in violation of the Fourth Amendment by defendants Mocca, Smith, Beckman and Panus on March 1, 2017.
*Furthermore, Plaintiff states that Sergeant Mocca and Officers Panus, Smith and Beckman approached him while he was lying face down posing no threat, and stomped on him and assaulted him with their fists and batons. Plaintiff asserts that defendants violated his Fourth *4 Amendment rights when they used excessive force in the course of his arrest and false imprisonment. Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the beating he received, he suffers from extensive back, neck and spinal injuries, as well as concussion syndrome, migraine headaches, Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome, black-outs, vertigo and vision loss.*
Plaintiff states that Chief Lowery, as well as Sergeant Anthony Mocca, failed to supervise and train Officers Panus, Beckman and Smith, causing him to be injured by them during the altercation on March 1, 2017. Additionally, plaintiff alleges that The City of Florissant (and unnamed City Counselors), as well as Mayor Tom Schneider, failed to act and failed to intervene to set forth or change policies, customs and procedures that resulted in plaintiff being injured on March 1, 2017. However, there is no indication that any of the aforementioned supervisory defendants were at the scene on March 1, 2017, except for Sergeant Anthony Mocca.
Smith was also caught on video in September 2019 aggressively pulling a man out of a car after pulling him over for failure to drive in a single lane, according to Real STL News. That clip is included in the above video that shows the two clips that led to Smith's arrest, including a portion of it in slow motion to help readers better determine if this was an accident or deliberate.