LORAIN, Ohio — The Lorain Police Department is facing a federal lawsuit after one of its officers broke a car windshield with a man's face during an arrest, according to investigators. However, police said the video shows only one side of the story.
Officers arrested Pele Smith, 30, on suspicions of drug trafficking back in 2014. Smith had already been convicted of the crime in the past.
"Man, why is y'all doing this to me like that?" Smith asks once inside the cop car.
To which the officer responds, "you swallowed something on us."
Police said the slamming is not intentional, but Smith's attorney Mark Petroff said the video speaks for itself.
"It's not an accident," Petroff said. "In fact, it looks like he was lifted and slammed into the windshield."
Chief Cel Rivera said the department usually does not discuss matters under pending litigation, but feels it is important to reach out.
"We're conscious that this matter is before the courts, so we will not be able to discuss the specifics of this case," Rivera said.
Councilman Angel Arroyo said he believes this is an isolated incident.
"This isn't something that officers act like this all the time," Arroyo said. "This is a terrible situation that happened, and we know that the chief is on top of it and he is going to do what he's got to do."
As the federal lawsuit moves forward, so does the quest for justice.
"[I] want to assure Pele Smith and his family, that a full investigation will be done, and that the truth will come out," Rivera said.