Officer J. Smith, Las Vegas Metro,
responding with a handstrike to the face
According to a story printed in the Las Vegas Review Journal, Officer
J. Smith, a police officer working for the local governments in Las Vegas and Clark County, beat a captive prisoner in the face while the man was handcuffed. I’ve scare-quoted the name because that’s the most that the R.-J. could glean from the police reports; the police department is officially refusing to release the name of the cops accused of beating the hell out of a handcuffed prisoner. The cops were there late at night because of a noisy party and reports of a fight. James Akins didn’t want to talk to the police, and when they arrested him for not coming out of his apartment, Akins tried to stand his ground, while a pair strangers forcibly dragged him away in handcuffs to be driven off to jail. (The dragging away is dignified as
escorting Akins to the car by the Las Vegas Review Journal.) So James Akins spat at the armed strangers hauling him off in the middle of the night. Officer J. Smith was apparently in no physical danger at all, but he did get spit at, and this insult to his dignity was enough to for him to have
responded with a handstrike to Akins’ face. The report in the R.-J. makes it seem as though Officer J. Smith just smacked James Akins once; what actually happened is that Officer J. Smith handcuffed Akins, repeatedly slammed him into a door, forced him downstairs, and then threw him to the ground and punched him in the face several times.
The Incident is being Internally Investigated by Officer J. Smith’s coworkers at Las Vegas Metro, but cop spokesman Officer Marcus Martin is helpfully explaining to the press that
There is no department policy that prohibits officers from striking handcuffed suspects. (No doubt there isn’t. What does that say about the policy?) In the meantime, Officer J. Smith, whose full name and identity Las Vegas Metro refuses to release, is still out on patrol on the streets of Las Vegas while being Internally Investigated for beating handcuffed prisoners.