Two videos from Oklahoma’s Fox 23 News tell the tale of an 84-year-old Muskogee woman, who was pepper sprayed in her own home. The above clip shows an interview with Geneva Smith as she expresses her intent to sue police after her hospitalization. And down below, newly released body cam footage reveals the events that took place. News on 6 in Tulsa reports that Smith demands an apology from the Muskogee police department.
The facts of this case include a police pursuit of Smith’s 56-year-old son, Arthur Paul Blackmon, who reportedly ran a stop sign and refused to stop for officers. They followed him to a residence and asked him to come out, but he did not comply. An officer then kicked open the front door and used an electric taser on Blackmon, who had his hands in the air. When Smith walked into the room, officers directed her to turn around or be pepper sprayed.
The chaotic situation included a total of six officers entering the residence. A city attorney, Scott Wood, maintains this display of force was reasonable “given the totality of the circumstances.” Fox 23 also reports that 40 seconds passed between the first order to Smith and the moment when a female officer sprayed her directly in the face. Smith told Fox 23, “I just came out and asked them what was going on, and they just pepper-sprayed me.”
This followup video shows officers entering the residence as well as the tasing and pepper spraying, after which Smith immediately falls to the ground. Also in this clip, Muskogee Police Chief Rex Eskridge discusses how this video was released in the interest of transparency. Eskridge stated, “This is a very important issue. There is a lot of missing information out there. There is a lot of prejudgment out there and a lot of concern.” The department is conducting an internal investigation into the incident.