Phenix City police chief responds to use of excessive force claims

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - We brought you the exclusive story of Elizabeth Coty-Green who claims police did what you see over my shoulder with excessive force.

Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith told us he would not speak specifically about the incident in question, but says every complaint of excessive force by an officer goes through a process of investigation and documentation.

Chief Smith says whether someone is injured or not, a full scale investigation into the events that transpire up until the alleged use of force is conducted on behalf of the victim and the officer. He tells us the severity of the case will determine the action taken by authorities.

"But anytime that there's a serious injury or there's an injury that causes all the way to death, obviously that's a serious issue. So, in the best interest of the community and for transparency, that officer will typically be placed on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted to determine if there's any problem with the use of force of that response to resistance," Smith explains.

Chief Smith went on to say any time an officer says "you're under arrest" and you do not comply that is resisting arrest, and an officer may need to use force to contain the situation. Again, Smith says he would not go into specifics until the internal investigation is concluded and looked over by an outside source -- typically the district attorney.

Count on News Leader 9 to continue following this developing story.

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