#JusticeforMarcusSmith: Marcus Smith Legal Team Files Response to Defendant’s Motions to Dismiss
For Immediate Release July 26th, 2019:
Justice for Marcus Smith Case Continues: Marcus Smith Legal Team Files Response to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss
Public meeting regarding the case announced:
August 8th – 6:30 PM
Shiloh Baptist Church
1210 S Eugene St, Greensboro, NC
“...the outrageousness, in 2018, of brutally hogtying a defenseless Black man, who was neither resisting nor otherwise under lawful arrest, in contravention of GPD regulations and the manufacturer’s prohibition, further establishes that the Defendants had notice that their conduct was clearly unconstitutional as was previously established in similar circumstances by the Supreme Court...”
July 26th, 2019 – Attorneys representing the family of Marcus Deon Smith from the People’s Law Office and Greensboro attorney Graham Holt filed 3 documents in response in the ongoing Marcus Deon Smith case on July 26th, 2019, responding to the defendants’ motions to dismiss.
Read the Statements Here:
“It’s incredibly important that this case move forward,” explained Kimberly Suber (formerly Kimberly Smith), sister of the deceased;
“…We've waited long enough to see Justice happen for my brother. We buried Marcus nearly a year ago, believing the lies that Chief Scott’s police department was telling about how my brother died. Only after we watched the body camera tapes for ourselves did we find out that the police tied my brother up – hogtying him – and killed him… and then lied about it and tried to cover it up. In the past year, the Greensboro City Council, the police, the EMT’s, and Guilford County – they all had ample opportunity to try to make things right, but they haven’t done anything to right this wrong.
And we’ve learned this isn’t the only case of racist violence in Greensboro. Greensboro and Guilford County have a long history of letting public servants violate black people’s, and homeless people’s rights, and then the whole power structure of local government denies wrongdoing and tries to cover it up. So, we’re going to keep fighting for Justice for Marcus, and keep fighting. They aren’t going to wear us out. Greensboro needs some real change in the way it operates, and we’re hoping this case can help make that change happen.”
Marcus Smith, 38, was an African American homeless resident of Greensboro who was hogtied and killed by 8 Greensboro officers on September 8th, 2018. The NC State Medical Examiner’s officers declared the manner of death a homicide. 2 Guilford County EMS personnel were present during the hogtying and failed to intervene or offer resuscitation measures in a timely manner. Despite clearly violating Smith’s constitutional rights, all 8 officers and the 2 EMS workers were returned to duty before any investigations were completed. The lawsuit (Case No. 1:19CV386 - MARY SMITH and GEORGE SMITH, et all. v. CITY OF GREENSBORO, et al.) alleges that Guilford County and the City of Greensboro then conspired to cover-up the homicide death and ignore obvious civil rights violations.
Both the City of Greensboro and Guilford County filed motions to dismiss, claiming in part that the police officers and EMS workers involved are immune from prosecution because of their professional roles, and that there was no effort on the government’s part to conceal or cover up civil rights abuses. The responses presented above rebuke those claims and demonstrate that the brutal hogtying of Marcus Smith was condoned by local government and was pursuant to the Greensboro and Greensboro Police Department’s actual policies, practices and training rather than in violation of it.
The Smith Family lawsuit states,
“City of Greensboro and its Police Department have a long history of racist police violence and misconduct and deliberate indifference, including, most recently, the targeting of African-Americans for, among other things, driving while black and being downtown while black, and the accompanying use of force, violence, false charges, perjury, and cover up by superiors using the Professional Standards Division, the Chief of Police, the City Manager, the City Attorney, and the City Council, to condone and ratify police misconduct, which causes Greensboro police officers, such as the officers in this case, to believe that they can abuse Black citizens with impunity and with no fear of consequences.”
The response filed in court on behalf of the Smith family on July 26, 2019 connects Marcus Smith’s death to a long pattern and practice of police violence in Greensboro over the last 50 years. The response states the following:
“...the outrageousness, in 2018, of brutally hogtying a defenseless Black man, who was neither resisting nor otherwise under lawful arrest, in contravention of GPD regulations and the manufacturer’s prohibition, further establishes that the Defendants had notice that their conduct was clearly unconstitutional as was previously established in similar circumstances by the Supreme Court in Hope v Pelzer. As the Court stated in Hope when finding that another form of antebellum brutality was clearly unconstitutional: The obvious cruelty inherent in this practice should have provided respondents with some notice that their alleged conduct violated Hope’s constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Hope was treated in a way antithetical to human dignity when he was hitched to a post for an extended period of time in a position that was painful, and under circumstances that were both degrading and dangerous...”
The legal team, and supporters of the Smith family will host a meeting on August 8th, 2019 at 6:30 PM at Shiloh Baptist Church to discuss with the community why it is important that this case move forward. All are welcome to attend.
Public Meeting Announced:
The Marcus Smith Case Must Continue:
August 8th, 2019 – 6:30pm
Shiloh Baptist Church
1210 S Eugene St, Greensboro, NC