#JusticeForMarcusSmith 

Greensboro Police Violated their own policy when they Hogtied and Killed Marcus Deon Smith on September 8th, 2018.

Then they lied about it.

The medical examiner called it a homicide, but Chief Wayne Scott has shielded the officers from prosecution and they are back on patrol today. 

Marcus's family is still seeking Justice...

 

The Medical Examiner Called it "Homicide":

homicide

 noun

ho·​mi·​cide | \ ˈhä-mə-ˌsīd  , ˈhō-  \

Definition of homicide

 

1: a person who kills another

2: a killing of one human being by another - "detectives investigating a homicide"

"He was tied up like an animal"

 - Kimberly Suber (Sister of deceased)

Officers

A.G. Lewis,

M. Montalvo,

J. Bailey,

L.A. Andrews,

J.C. Payne,

R.R. Duncan,

Sgt. C. Bradshaw,

And Corporal D. Strader,

violated their own Departmental Policy Directives

when they Hogtied and Killed Marcus Deon Smith.

Greensboro Police Departmental Directives - Sec. 11.1 - "Handling and Transporting Persons in Custody - Additional Restraint" 

Diagram of officers who helped hogtie Marcus Smith September 8th, 2018

Why did more than ten officers have to hogtie one unarmed and non-violent civilian when he asked them for help?

And why did the chief then lie about it and try to cover it up?

Manner of Death declaration made by State Medical Examiner Amy L. Beard 11/30/2018

RIPP HOBBLE Instructions and Manufacturer's Warnings Page 1

RIPP HOBBLE Instructions and Manufacturer's Warnings Page 2

Chief Wayne Scott

Greensboro Massacre 1523070273-southerns
disporportionate risks of driving while

#JusticeforMarcusSmith - Frequently Asked Questions/Concerns

Q: What Happened?

A: In the early morning of On September 8th, 2018, Marcus Deon Smith was having a mental health crisis when police approached him. He begged officers for help, but instead of taking him to the hospital, officers took him to the ground and then hogtied him using a “RIPP HOBBLE” device - violating their own Departmental Policies. He died as a result.

Q: What was the cause of death?

A: The State’s Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death a homicide.

Q: What does HOMICIDE mean?

A: Definition of homicide (Mirriam Webster):

1: a person who kills another

2: a killing of one human being by another

 

Q: Does this mean that the police killed Marcus Smith?

A: Yes. That is what homicide means.

 

Q: Is hogtying known to be medically dangerous? Did the officers know it was?

A: Yes. In 1995 a Department of Justice bulletin entitled “Positional Asphyxia—Sudden Death” alerted local law enforcement agencies about the growing medical evidence about the dangers of using a Hogtie restraint. The bulletin encouraged local police departments to “avoid the use of maximally prone restraint techniques (e.g., hogtying).”  Police Departments across the country began banning the practice of hogtying after this.

 

Q: So, was it LEGAL for the officers to hogtie him?
A: NO. Section 11.1 of Greensboro’s Police Department Directives bans officers from using the Hogtie restraint in the manner that they did:

"At no time shall the wrists and ankles of an arrestee be linked together using the RIPP HOBBLE restraining device, unless the arrestee can be seated in an upright position, or on their side. If this is done, the knees of the arrestee will not be bent more than 90 degrees (unless extenuating circumstances exist) to prevent stress being placed on the arrestee’s chest muscles or diaphragm which might contribute to a positional asphyxia situation…  It is the responsibility of the arresting officer to ensure the arrestee is under direct observation from the time he is restrained in this manner until the restraints are removed or the custody of the arrestee is turned over to another agency."

 

Q: What about the Manufacturer of the RIPP HOBBLE (Hogtying) Device?

A: On November 28th, Chief Wayne Scott told a reporter (Triad City Beat) that all Greensboro Police officers "follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of the [RIPP HOBBLE] device and learn the proper techniques in training." Police Chief Wayne Scott has publicly referred to the device by its proprietary name (“RIPP HOBBLE, made by RIPP Restraints International) on multiple occasions – so we have to assume he meant the recommendations from RIPP Restraints International.

 

According to the manufacturer’s information sheet, the device is intended to be used to transport prisoners/detainees “seated in an upright position-unable to kick out doors or windows.” The first manufacturer’s warning reads in bold black letters, “NEVER HOGTIE A PRISONER”

               

 

“NEVER HOGTIE A PRISONER”

 

Q: What about the courts – have the courts ever spoken up about whether it’s legal to hogtie someone?

A: In the case Gutierrez v. City of San Antonio, hogtying was declared an unconstitutional use of force that amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in certain circumstances - specifically, if officers know a person is experiencing “excited delirium” – a term used to describe an elevated heart rate caused by things like doing drugs or having a mental health crisis. In the body cam video released to the public, the officers repeatedly acknowledge that Marcus Smith was on drugs. Marcus also admits to being high, and it is very apparent that he is having a mental health crisis. Hogtying has been ruled unconstitutional many times – and it is especially unconstituti­­onally cruel when you know a person is high or having a mental health crisis.

 

Q: Was there a thorough investigation into this matter? Why did the officers get put back on patrol?

A: It is hard to believe that there was a thorough investigation when Police Chief Wayne Scott’s office began deceiving the public about the details of the case within 24 hours of the incident by issuing statements with multiple falsehoods about the case. His office has interfered with every part of the investigation, beginning with a press release issued on September 8th which mischaracterized the nature of Marcus’s Death, which failed to mention that Marcus was hogtied. On December 3rd, Mayor Nancy Vaughan, in reference to the Police’s press statement, said, “That obviously was a lie.” 

"That obviously was a lie."

Prior to the State Bureau of Investigations completing its initial investigation, Chief Scott had already cleared his officers of wrong-doing and returned them back to patrol.

 

Q: How Did Chief Scott lie about this case?

A: In the initial press release dated September 8th (which Chief Scott an Police Attorney Polly Sizemore must have approved before releasing) it said that Marcus was “suicidal”, that he became “combative” and “collapsed”, and that he died at the hospital about an hour after the hogtying incident. The press release also failed to mention that they hogtied Marcus Deon Smith – which was the manner of death.

The Facts: Marcus asked the officers for help. He was not combative, and he did not “collapse”. Instead of helping Marcus, the officers violently took Marcus to the ground and hogtied him and he died as a result of being hogtied. The officer who checked his pulse, Officer Duncan, said, “Hey, Hey, Hey, I don’t feel a thing.”, and immediately after, the officers were instructed to take the RIPP HOBBLE restraint off. At another point in the video an officer is on the phone with his supervisor as Marcus is being loaded into the ambulance. The officer says that Marcus did not have a pulse and was not breathing. It is common for EMT and Police to wait until they get to a hospital to get a doctor to pronounce a person dead for liability reasons. According to body cam footage, Marcus was unresponsive for at least 20 seconds before the police checked his pulse. 

 

Other Lies: On September 19th, 2018 in an email to friends of Marcus, Chief Scott wrote the following; “While the investigation is still ongoing and I cannot speak for the SBI, I can tell you I have personally reviewed much of the information available from that evening (body camera recordings, radio traffic, Initial autopsy reports) and it is my belief that the GPD officers on scene acted appropriately and with great compassion while trying to help a citizen in need.” Again, there was no mention of hogtying Marcus or violating departmental policies.

 

On November 28th, 2018 Chief Scott told a reporter, “the department doesn’t have a specific directive on applying the Ripp Hobble, or hog-tying, restraint prior to transporting detainees, adding that officers “follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of the device and learn the proper techniques in training.”

 

Facts: Section 11.1 of the Police Departmental Directives “Handling and Transporting Persons in Custody” specifically mentions the RIPP HOBBLE Restraint and specifically tells officers never to hogtie a person unless they can be seated upright (meaning tying hand and feet together in front, not behind) or on their side. The directive on “handling and transporting persons in custody,” references a health risk widely associated with the use of the Ripp Hobble device, or hog-tying. The directive states that if the Ripp Hobble device is applied, “the knees of the arrestee will not be bent more than 90 degrees (unless extenuating circumstances exist) to prevent stress being placed on the arrestee’s chest muscles or diaphragm, which might contribute to a positional asphyxiation situation.” Furthermore, the RIPP HOBBLE manufacturer explicitly warns police “NEVER HOGTIE A PRISONER”. Officers violated all of these protocols when they hogtied Marcus on his stomach and bent his legs far past 90 degrees. They pushed on his body until his knees and shoulders were strained and pulled off of the ground.

 

Lies after the Body Cam Video came out: On November 30th, 2018 after the State Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death a homicide, the City of Greensboro quickly released the body cam footage from the incident. There were 20 videos total. The city composed a compilation version in which Chief Scott gave an introductory statement where he again claimed that Marcus “collapsed”, and that he died “about 40 minutes after the conclusion of this video.” He also claims that the officers immediately turned Marcus over on his side, adjust the RIPP HOBBLE DEVICE and check his condition after hogtying him.

Fact: The police Hogtied him on his stomach and he lost consciousness for more than 20 seconds before they checked on him.  

Q: The media keeps talking about other stuff - Didn’t He have drugs in his system and a heart condition? Did that kill him?

A: The medical examiner declared the manner of death a homicide. No other person, including the chief of police, has the authority to determine the cause of death in this case. Under “Contributing Conditions” it states: “Sudden Cardiopulmonary Arrest DUE TO Prone Restraint” (The Hog-tie restraint). The Medical Examiner’s report also states that he had trace amounts of alcohol and other substances within his system, but these were not significant enough amounts to kill him. Homicide means that someone else’s actions killed him.

Q: The police directives mention “extenuating circumstances”. Were there extenuating circumstances that justify the officer’s use of force:

A: No. The officers cold have restrained Marcus in several other ways in order to transport him to a hospital. The RIPP Hobble is designed to be used to transport individuals in an upright position. There were more than 10 officers at the scene, and yet the officers didn’t try any other means of restraining Marcus before they hogtied him on his stomach and killed him.

Q: Could the officers be charged with a crime – and if so, what crime?

A: Yes. At the bare minimum, the officers could be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter or Negligent Homicide. Involuntary Manslaughter is defined as “the crime of killing another human being unlawfully but unintentionally.” Negligent Homicide is defined as “carelessness or recklessness that shows a thoughtless disregard of consequences or a heedless indifference to the safety of another”

Q: Are there any legal reasons why the District Attorney could not bring charges?

A: No. The officers have not been charged, so there is no “Double Jeopardy” issue. District Attorney Avery Crump could call for an independent investigation into the matter and prosecute if she decided to.

Q: Has the family been compensated for this HOMICIDE?

A: No.

Q: Is this an isolated event?

A: Greensboro has a long and documented history of police violence targeted against people of color. Here are just a few examples:

In 1979 Klansmen shot up a crowd of black and white union organizers, killing 5 people and injuring 6 more. A civil trial exposed that he Klan/Nazi caravan was led by a GPD paid informant who had warned police and the FBI of their planned violence but the GPD withdrew from the area and allowed the attack to happen. The City of Greensboro was found liable for wrongful death in the case. 

In 2013, the City of Greensboro paid $500,000 to settle a lawsuit which alleged that 39 African American and Latino Police Officers were discriminated against in hiring and promotion practices.

In 2015, an article about racial disparities in policing in Greensboro titled “The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black” was published in the New York Times. The Police’s own data said that Black motorists were twice as likely to be stopped and searched even though white motorists were more likely to be caught with drugs.

In more recent years, there have been multiple cases were the city has paid families of police violence under Chief Scott.

But the city has never admitted fault or held any individual officers accountable.

 

Q: What about the Police Community Review Board?

A: Greensboro does not have a functioning Police Community Review Board. Due to state law, police review boards are unable to subpoena witnesses, can only play “advisory roles” and are sworn to secrecy regarding individual cases by nondisclosure agreements.

 

Q: Can the city investigate this matter or hold the police accountable before the D.A. presses charges?

A: Yes, under State Law, § 160A-80.  “Power of Investigation; Subpoena Power.” “The Council shall have power to investigate the affairs of the city, and for that purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the production of evidence.”

 

 

Q: Isn’t the Police Chief hired by the City Manager?

A: According to the city charter, the Police Chief is hired and fired by the Greensboro City Manager – who serves at the pleasure of the Greensboro City Council. The City Manager is not an elected position, and therefore, the only way to hold the city manager accountable is to have the council direct him to make necessary changes.

According to the State Constitution, “All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”

The Greensboro Police have shown that they are unwilling to police themselves and that Wayne Scott is unfit to serve as Chief Scott.

 

Q: What does justice look like in this case?

A: The citizens of Greensboro deserve to live in a city where they don’t fear police violence. People of color deserve to know their lives matter.

The Smith Family deserve an apology and adequate compensation for the homicide death of their loved one.

 

No one who is willing to violate their own departmental directives and training and consequently kill an unarmed person should continue to serve as an employee of Greensboro.

Officers

A.G. Lewis,

M. Montalvo,

J. Bailey,

L.A. Andrews,

J.C. Payne,

R.R. Duncan,

Sgt. C. Bradshaw,

and Corporal D. Strader,

should face charges for the homicide death of Marcus Deon Smith.

 

In order to bring charges, there will likely need to be an independent investigation into this incident.

The Greensboro City Council should ask District Attorney Avery Crump for an independent investigation into this incident.

 

No one who knowingly deceives the public about the details of this case – or tries to cover up the misdeeds of fellow officers – is fit to serve as an employee of Greensboro. Chief Scott has a long-documented history of encouraging a culture of violence and racism within the Greensboro Police Department.

Chief Scott should be fired -

and so should anyone else who helped cover up this homicide death. ­­­

 

The Greensboro City Council is the only entity that has the power to direct the City Manager to fire the Chief of Police. Under state law, our elected officials are responsible for the management of the affairs of this city and must represent the interests of the people. Knowingly ignoring issues of racial violence and police misconduct makes the Greensboro City Council a part of the cover-up and liable under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act (“Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights”).

 

The council should take necessary steps to reform and eradicate the culture of violence within the Greensboro police department. That starts with firing Chief Wayne Scott and anyone else who lied or helped cover up the homicide death of Marcus Deon Smith.

#JusticeForMarcusSmith 

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