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Ex-Cop Who Attacked Black Man During Booking Pleads Guilty


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Matthew Rodriguez and Jaquwan Smith

A former Michigan cop who punched a Black man in the face during booking pleaded guilty on Monday to a federal civil rights violation.

According to the AP, Matthew Rodriguez admitted to using “unreasonable force” when he was processing 19-year-old Jaquwan Smith in the fingerprint room at the Warren jail last June. He also admitted to making false statements to authorities after the incident. 

Smith “was not physically resisting arrest or attempting to escape,” Rodriguez’s plea agreement read.

In November, Matthew Rodriguez was indicted by a Michigan grand jury.

Rodriguez was fired in June and charged with two misdemeanors after a video released showed Rodriguez punching and slamming 19-year-old Jaquwan Smith during booking. 

In the video, which was released by the Warren Police Department, Rodriguez can be seen in the police station processing Smith. 

After a brief exchange of words, Rodriguez punches Smith in the face and then forces the 19-year-old, who was completely stunned, against the wall. Matthew Rodriguez can then be seen picking Smith up, spinning him in the air then slamming his unprotected body on the ground. 

Two other officers rushed into the room and instead of stopping Rodriguez, they held Smith down while Rodriguez punched Smith in his head “at least two more times” while Smith was “lying face down on the ground,” according to the complaint. 

Rodriguez didn’t stop there. While officers continued to hold Smith down, Rodriguez continued his assault by slamming Smith’s head against the ground. 

Smith had been searched for weapons and did not possess anything that was a threat to the officers, according to the FBI’s criminal complaint. The FBI also said that Smith never tried to attack Rodriguez during the incident as he kept his hands by his side during the attack.

The FBI is accusing Rodriguez of using excessive force that was not warranted under the circumstances. He was placed on administrative leave but was fired after the conclusion of an internal investigation, which led to charges by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Rodriguez’s “actions in this case were shocking and flagrantly violate the standards of conduct we expect of all sworn law enforcement officers,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison told AP. 

According to ClickOnDetroit, Jaquwan Smith also filed a lawsuit against Rodriguez, the city of Warren and the two officers who held him down while Rodriguez continued his assault.

Smith’s attorney alleges that the two officers “did not intervene” when they saw Smith being attacked by Rodriguez.

Matthew Rodriguez is due back in court for sentencing Aug. 20 and could be facing up to 10 years in prison. 

SEE ALSO:

Tennessee Bill Reversing Traffic Stop Reforms After Tyre Nichols’ Police Beating Death Signed Into Law

Mississippi Cop Kills Fleeing Black Teen By Running Over Him With Police Cruiser, Ben Crump Says

The post Warren Ex-Cop Who Attacked Black Man During Booking Pleads Guilty appeared first on NewsOne.


Warren Ex-Cop Who Attacked Black Man During Booking Pleads Guilty 
was originally published on
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