Woman Savagely Beaten By Police After They Spot Her Filming Them Beating A Suspect

Author: May 12, 2013 4:58 am
Police brutality; image@IameleLaw

Police brutality; image@IameleLaw

For many of us, Baltimore police bring to mind the crew on Homicide: Life On The Street, but that’s not the real picture, sadly. In reality, some Baltimore cops are fascists at heart. At least when it comes to them being filmed. And they’re not shy about dealing with such a situation.

While she was stuck in traffic in northern Baltimore, Makia Smith glanced out her car window and spied four officers beating up and arresting a young man. She pulled out her camera, opened her car door and stood on the doorsill to film the incident. According to Smith, one of the policemen – Officer Nathan Church – spotted her filming them and ran at her yelling:

‘You want to film something bitch? Film this!’

Frightened, Smith sat back down in her car but Officer Church reached in, grabbed her camera and threw it to the ground, stomping on it for good measure. He then pulled Smith out of her car by her hair and began beating her. Officers William Pilkerton, Jr., Nathan Ulmer and Kenneth Campbell came over and joined in. The quartet arrested her with excessive force. Oh, did I mention that Ms. Smith’s two-year-old daughter was in the back seat?

According to a complaint filed against the officers, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, and the Baltimore Police Department, the officers taunted her about the child. They told Smith that her daughter would be taken away and sent to Social Services. They refused to call Smith’s mother to pick the toddler up. According to the complaint:

“The officers, despite the pleas of plaintiff, refused to call plaintiff’s mother. Instead, the officers tormented plaintiff by telling her that her daughter would be taken from her and sent to Social Services. Seeing plaintiff’s distressful reaction to these tormenting threats, they continued.”

Presumably this went on as Ms. Smith was arrested and taken to jail where she was charged with assaulting Officer Church and resisting arrest. I assume that the child was picked up by Social Services but the complaint isn’t clear on this. I certainly hope that they didn’t leave her in the car as they dragged her mother away to jail. Then, when the case came to trial, Officer Church skipped both proceedings, forcing prosecutors to drop the charges. However, Ms. Smith had to hire a lawyer and pay to get her car out of impound.

Ms. Smith is now suing for $1.5 million in both compensatory and punitive damages. She claims civil rights violations and infliction of emotional distress. I hope whoever hears the case will take into account the toddler who witnessed her mother getting the crap beat out of her for no reason. Baltimore police have an ugly history of brutality, especially against people of color. The incident involving Anthony Anderson, Jr. and the three officers accused of killing him had the city up in arms last year. Community leaders at that time protested, as no action was taken by the BPD against the officers who killed Anderson. One local pastor said that Baltimore had “…far too many people…” finding themselves victimized by police brutality, excessive force and police killings adding that police who committed these acts were never punished.

Police all around the country have been accused of similar action when they see people filming them. They better get used to it, though. The Rodney King tape started a citizen revolt against police brutality, and what happened in New York with the Occupy movement has cemented this new paradigm. Police need to understand that those of their profession who misuse their public trust will not be able to hide anymore. We are watching… and filming.

Photobucket      T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…


facebook comments:


  • Their tasks should be the least of what they reduce… they are entitled to to be behind cafes for attack. Hotel In Delhi

  • As for Homicide: Life on the Streets there was the book originally. Now, consider this: Studies show that the most experienced old officers are the worst at distinguishing truth and lies. This is because they become overconfident that their experience has given them intuition. In the book there is an idiotic example from this stupid police force. One of the clues they go on and teach to younger cops is that when a suspect is waiting a long time in the interrogation room, if he dowses off then he is guilty. If he is nervous then he is innocent.

    • T. Steelman

      Yes, I read the book. Very engrossing. I liked that the show worked in as much of the book as they could via cases and characters.

  • Are you sure about the 1.5 million figure? This 4/10/13 TV news story says $75,000.


  • anonymouseone

    police officers need to realize that they are on camera just as much as the average citizen, and that it is NOT illegal to film their activities while you’re in a public place.

    There are store surveillance cameras, atms, traffic cameras, taxis, armored cars, etc, that all have video recordings happening, and the police can be being recorded by these devices the same as the general public.

    In fact, many police departments have installed dash cameras for the specific ability to be able to record traffic stops to be able to prove/disprove allegations of abuse or other issues when interacting with the public.

    The police need to realize that they are NOT above the law, they are JUST as accountable as everyone else. Every one of these “officers” needs to be suspended WITHOUT pay until the case filed for police abuse gets settled.

    An officer who has the gumption to make such an arrest then not show for court just handed her the judgement on the lawsuit for damages too.

    The sad thing is that these kinds of abusive officers will always pull the “resisting without violence” charge, or the “refusing to comply with a lawful order” charge, just to stick it to someone they feel they have a beef with, then not show for court. The charges get dropped, but it’s a big hassle and expense for the person they’re messing with, because the cop had a power trip.

    how about automatic suspensions for cops who file charges on people and won’t show up in court to answer for their actions?

  • Modern Technology- put to the good use of destroying old practices that no amount of law could reduce.
    And the price thereof.

    Remember the school bullies? They became cops.

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