“They took my child away from me… took my child away from me in handcuffs, shot him in handcuffs… I just want to see dis officer that killed my son in handcuffs. I want him to suffer like my child suffered.”
Those were the words of Penny Nelson, the mother of serial felon Charles Smith. Nelson is one of several in her community that seems intent on trying to turn Savannah, Georgia, into the next Ferguson, Missouri. A police officer shot and killed the handcuffed Smith after he tried to escape from a police car after his arrest for outstanding warrants.
Prior to yesterday’s incident, Smith had a long criminal record including multiple arrests for aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine, theft by receiving stolen property, and cruelty to children. He’d been incarcerated three times between 2006 and 2013… and apparently didn’t want to go back.
After Smith was handcuffed and placed in a squad car, the officer transporting Smith attempted to drive away. Smith then kicked the window out of the squad car and tried to escape, and things got ballistic.
Police had arrested Smith on outstanding warrants and put him in a patrol car with his hands cuffed behind his back, GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang said in a written statement. Smith was able to move his hands to the front of his body and kick out a window of the patrol car, Lang said.
The shooting is under investigation and findings will be turned over to the Eastern Judicial Circuit district attorney’s office, the Associated Press reported. An autopsy for Smith is scheduled Friday at the GBI’s crime lab in Savannah, Lang said.
Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan interim Police Chief Julie Tolbert requested that the GBI conduct the investigation.
According to the AP, Lang said officers noticed that Smith had a gun when he tried exiting the patrol car and he was shot by an officer. A gun was found under Smith’s body and the incident was captured on video, Lang said.
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