Recorded on video firing his Taser at a woman, a Georgia police officer was recently terminated from the department due to his conduct during the arrest and prior complaints against him. Although the police department found no problem with the officer suddenly tasing the unarmed woman, officials fired him for making no attempts to de-escalate the situation while verbally abusing the witnesses.
On August 18, Gwinnett County police officer Michael Oxford responded to a call concerning two people throwing a bottle at a woman’s car and threatening to assault her. After reviewing a surveillance video of the incident and speaking with the victim, Oxford arrived at a house where the suspects were believed to be staying.
According to bystander cellphone videos and police body cam footage, Oxford confronted Kyndesia Smith on the front porch of the residence and attempted to arrest her after recognizing Smith as a potential suspect from the surveillance video. In the first video, Smith retreated behind a woman sitting in a chair on the porch as Oxford tried to grab her wrist.
Despite the fact that Smith did not attempt to flee from the porch, Oxford gripped her arms while violently wrenching the innocent witness from her chair. After threatening to arrest everyone on the porch, Oxford later fired his Taser at Smith, knocking her off her feet and into a nearby bush.
In bystander videos posted to TikTok, Smith remained on the ground as Oxford struggled to place the handcuffs on her wrists. A second officer later arrived and assisted Oxford in placing Smith under arrest.
Smith was charged with simple battery against an officer and willful obstruction of law enforcement. She was released on Wednesday.
According to a recent press release, the Gwinnett County Police Department found that there was probable cause to arrest Smith for Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer and that the subsequent use of force was within policy. Although police officials had no problem with Oxford using his Taser on an unarmed woman who was not running away, the officer was fired for repeatedly escalating the situation while not attempting to diffuse any potential threats of violence.
On Friday, the department fired Oxford for failing to use proper de-escalation techniques and violating policy, which states that “each member of this department shall consider it his or her duty to be of service to the general public and to render that service in a kind, considerate, and patient manner.”