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Posted under: Race & Identity News

Police pepper spray 84-year-old woman in her home after son's traffic stop

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As many states try to prevent body cam footage being made available, there's no question that there's value in releasing the footage to the public. States such as North Carolina have made it hard to access the footage, and many take forever to release it. In the case of 84-year-old Geneva Smith, one can only be somewhat grateful that the officers didn't turn their cameras off. The footage, like much of what we have seen, shows police officers going outside of normal bounds when interacting with black people. The video also serves as a gruesome reminder of the Kathryn Johnston shooting — even when you're an elderly black woman, you're not safe. On August 7th, Arthur Paul Blackmon ran a stop sign. His failure to stop was enough to make officers chase him back to the home of his 84-year-old mother, Geneva Smith. Blackmon ran into his mother's home, where officers kicked in the front door in an effort to arrest Blackmon. While in her own home, Smith ran out to determine what was going on. Officers pepper sprayed her when she didn't turn around and face the other way quickly enough for them. After having her son run into her home frantic, having her door kicked in, and having officers push their way through her home, she didn't turn around quickly enough for them. Following her pepper spray ordeal, Smith was handcuffed and taken to the station before she was taken to the hospital.The Muskogee, Oklahoma Police Chief, Rex Eskridge, has yet to condemn the actions of the officers. The attorney for Muskogee, Scott Wood, stated that the pepper spray was "understandable" considering the totality of the circumstances. Despite the video clearly showing the inappropriate actions of the officers, here is another instance where footage doesn't tell the truth if you're black. You can watch the video here.

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