Lufkin, TX — A couple’s verbal dispute over a parking space turned into a nightmare after a call was made to 911 to settle it. When police showed up, the man involved in the dispute, Mark Anthony Smith, 48, was savagely beaten by three deputies who all used their rifles to inflict serious injury. He was then falsely charged and thrown in a cage.
The incident unfolded in April but video of it was only just released. The video reportedly saved Smith from spending decades in prison after it showed that cops were the aggressors and Smith was an innocent victim. Despite the charges being dropped against Smith, the apparently corrupt sheriff, Greg Sanches, is standing by his officers and justifying their near-deadly assault.
According to Dawn Thompson, who called police on April 7, the call was made because Smith apparently wouldn’t move his truck. That was all. The sheriff disagreed and claims that Thompson was in distress which is why officers showed up with AR-15s drawn on Smith. However, this is a detail Thompson disputes and says the 911 call — she now regrets making — made no mention of distress and was all about moving a truck.
As the video below shows, there is absolutely no way they can legitimately justify the use of force. Smith appears to be entirely compliant as cops draw down on him with their rifles and then start bashing him with their AR-15 buttstocks, which is likely a violation of police use of force policy.
In a Facebook post, Thompson described what happened, while calling the sheriff a “lying ass crooked cheating ass sheriff.”
Greg you are about one lying ass crooked cheating ass sherif. I made the 911 call never once said I was in fear just wanted him to move his truck. I have listened to the 911 call and made it clear I was not in fear for my life. Your officers tried a couple of times to get me to say I was when they called me asking for access code to his video system. You are flat out lying to the people of Angelina county. Bring the 911 tape and your copy of the video to television station And we will let them play both there exactly the same. I was sitting in the car with my window down and yet no one ever told him to get down. It’s on 911 call as well. As well as him asking you what y’all wanted. He never knew I called 911 as well. So Mr. Sanchez lets just go ahead and bring all this to the KTRE NEWS STATION . People really need to think before calling the sheriffs department for something cause it happens a lot and people don’t really get to see the truth. “ Braking his ribs after he’s handcuffed and Unconscious “ it’s nice to see you support your “team”.
A petition to remove Sheriff Greg Sanches is now circulating throughout Angelina County.
The video sparked outrage throughout the county on Wednesday and Sanches responded in a video he posted to Facebook saying he supported his deputies and was behind them. He has also declined to release dashcam footage of the incident, but said it would show another side of the story which would clear up the issue at hand.
Angelina County Sheriff’s Office deputies do not have body cameras.
The petition says Sanches has a narcissistic attitude and is unwilling to admit error at any cost. It is asking for his resignation or his removal from the position of sheriff.
“He can never gain the confidence or trust needed to move forward and overcome the gross negligence that his lack of leadership has inflicted upon the Angelina County Sheriff Office,” the petition states.
Here is a link to the petition
In Closing from Reverend L Jackson
“I promised Roy Cotton I would not deliver a sermon, and I am struggling to keep that promise. It needs to be said, this problem of the police waging war upon us. The police preying upon its citizens like school bullies with the Judges, Elected Officials and the Courts supporting they’re tyrannical actions. Then delivering horreneous consequences to the victims and even retaliating on the families. This is not a racial issue, it is not a differing religious issue. It is a Police Brutality Issue. It is an Abuse of Power Issue. Please believe me, my people have been at the receiving end of this for well over a hundred years. Now it is affecting all of us.”
Civil Rights Laws and Police Misconduct
A statute known as Section 1983 is the primary civil rights law victims of police misconduct rely upon. This law was originally passed as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which was intended to curb oppressive conduct by government and private individuals participating in vigilante groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. It is now called Section 1983 because that is where the law has been published, within Title 42 of the United States Code. Section 1983 makes it unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of state law to deprive another person of his or her rights under the Constitution or federal law. The most common claims brought against police officers are:
- False arrest (or false imprisonment)
- Malicious prosecution
- Unreasonable/excessive force
Limiting (if not eliminating) qualified immunity would certainly help (though there’s a reasonable debate whether this is more properly done through legislative reform than through the courts).
“The impact of police misconduct on society is massive. The physical toll is damaging to the victims; however, the emotional toll and relationship between society and the police can take years to restore. Police misconduct can damage the trust and future relations between law enforcement and communities.”