Church Leaders Seek Answers After Muskogee Woman Pepper-Sprayed


Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 11:13 pm
By: News On 6


A community is asking church leaders for answers after police body camera videos show an 84-year old grandmother getting pepper sprayed.

It happened in August in Muskogee, where police say the woman's son got out of his truck and walked into her home during a traffic stop in the driveway.

Body cameras rolled when Muskogee Police Officer Michelle Casady pepper-sprayed 84-year-old Geneva Smith inside her home.

8/26/2016 Related Story: Muskogee Police Release Video Of Elderly Woman Pepper Sprayed

Police kicked in the door to Smith's home after Casady and her field training officer spotted Smith's son running a stop sign and jumping out of his truck.

Police say they heard someone shouting "call the police" and "call 911."

Once inside the home, Casady tries to detain Smith while officers search the rest of the home.

The part that has troubled the community, is when the grandmother gets blasted with pepper spray. Members of the Muskogee Christian Minister's Union call that excessive.

Reverend Marlon Coleman with Antioch Church, said, "My concern is the treatment of his mother. The treatment of his mother and I think when you keep losing focus of that, we're likely to see a similar type of incident happen again."

The Minister's Union wants more training, accountability and more diversity within in the Muskogee Police Department.

"We need changes,” said Pastor Michael Webber with Diving Love Christian Fellowship. “If we don't get changes our community will never be able to come together in unity."

The City of Muskogee says the chief will not be doing any interviews until the investigation is completed.

Smith’s attorney said he has seen the video and said it’s horrific.

The Muskogee Police Department shared a presentation of the incident with still shots from the body cameras of the officers involved. The presentation states:

"The actions of all officers involved in this incident are being investigated by the Internal Affairs Division of the Muskogee Police Department. The findings of the investigation will be presented to a Board of Supervisors, who will then make recommendations, if warranted, regarding discipline, policy considerations and training. The Department regrets such an incident occurred, especially in light of Ms. Smith's age."

Here is the complete presentation: