Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fit the Description: Cherry Hill Police target wrong man for bank robbery.

 Although stories like these are uncommon and while there is no picture of the suspect, we can imagine the color of the suspect. Fitting the description when the suspect is black, usually involved all black men of color it would have you, no matter the details. This story also got our attention because it was from Cherry Hill, NJ where Gossip Maven Wendy Williams resides. Hmmm.

A Maple Shade man, alleging Cherry Hill officers violated his constitutional rights during their investigation of a bank robbery, has sued Cherry Hill and is seeking six-figure damages.
Christopher Smith, 37, who had gone to the TD Bank on North Kings Highway on Dec. 30, 2011, to cash a paycheck, claims he suffered permanent spinal injuries as a result of two officers who used “unreasonable and excessive force” when they took him into custody as a suspect a robbery at that bank branch, according to the suit.

“Smith was accosted by two police officers who immediately began yelling at him with guns drawn and pointed in his direction” as he walked out of the bank, the suit claims, and though Smith said he offered no resistance, the officers yanked him from his car and threw him to the ground.
The officers’ treatment left Smith with multiple herniated discs in his back, according to the suit.
Compounding what the suit asserts was assault and battery, the two officers—who are never actually named in the lawsuit—then put Smith in the back of a patrol car, despite a bank employee telling the officers Smith wasn’t the alleged robber.

Smith eventually ended up at police headquarters, where he was held for several hours, before finally being released without ever being charged—something the suit alleges constitutes unlawful detainment and a violation of both his state and federal constitutional rights.

Smith is seeking $150,000, plus attorney’s fees in the suit, filed in federal court in Camden.
A representative for Cherry Hill Police wasn’t immediately available.

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