Target: Chief of Police Rex Eskridge
Goal: Suspend police officers who allegedly pepper sprayed an 84-year-old woman after entering her home without a warrant.
The Muskogee Police Department has released body-camera footage showing 84-year-old Geneva Smith being pepper sprayed by police officers. The incident occurred in the early hours of the morning, when officers pursued Mrs. Smith’s son, Paul Blackmon, to her house after he reportedly ran a stop sign. When her son refused to open the door, officers called for backup, and forcibly entered the house. There they found Mr. Blackmon and, despite the fact his hands were raised, tasered him before taking him into custody.
This commotion woke Mrs. Smith, who, confused, entered the room to find out what was happening in her house. An officer ordered Mrs. Smith to face them, and when she did not comply immediately, the officer sprayed her with pepper spray. After this ordeal, Mrs. Smith and her son were taken to jail, where Mrs. Smith suffered a panic attack and had to be transferred to hospital.
It is unclear whether the officers had a warrant, therefore their entrance into the house may have been illegal. Furthermore, Mr. Blackmon’s alleged crime was nonviolent and, past refusing to open the door, neither he nor his mother did anything that would make the use of force in this incident reasonable. Sign our petition and demand that the police officers involved be suspended pending an investigation.
Dear Chief Eskridge,
I was disturbed to hear that Muskogee officers used pepper spray on Geneva Smith, an 84-year-old woman. These officers are alleged to have entered her residence without a warrant, which if true, represents a serious breach of her constitutional rights as well as a breach of their professional duties. I am glad to see that you have opened an investigation into this matter.
However, I believe that the officers involved must be suspended while the investigation proceeds. Not only did they pepper spray Mrs. Smith, but they arrested her despite the fact she had committed no crime. In jail she suffered a panic attack, and had to be hospitalized. The officers involved must be held accountable for the ordeal they put her through.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: liftarn