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Phoenix police officer arrested for assaulting handcuffed man

Phoenix Police
Posted at 7:17 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-24 20:23:26-04

PHOENIX — A Phoenix police officer has been arrested for aggravated assault of a suspect.

Phoenix police say Officer Conner Orth-Smith allegedly physically assaulted and caused visible injuries to a handcuffed man at around 6:45 p.m. on July 16 near 99th Avenue and McDowell Road.

Orth-Smith, a 23-year-old probationary officer, had been called to help security personnel at a local hospital after an intoxicated man refused to leave the property.

During the investigation, the man was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer.

Several days later, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office alerted police about concerns regarding body camera video of the arrest.

A review by Phoenix police showed Orth-Smith physically assaulted the man while he was in handcuffs, causing visible injuries. Phoenix PD says the actions were “unreasonable and in no way proportional to the man’s actions.”

Orth-Smith has since tendered his resignation.

“The behavior captured on the body-worn camera in this instance is egregious, appalling and will not be tolerated,” said Police Chief Jeri Williams. “Our agency took decisive and immediate action. Acts like these leave a blemish on the badge and affect the noble profession of policing, making it more difficult for the men and women who police with integrity and honor.”

Police say the criminal investigation is still ongoing, and there is also an administrative investigation into potential policy violations.

“This isolated incident is not reflective of the work being done by the good women and men of our agency,” said Williams. “They work diligently to protect the lives and property of our community.”