St. Charles County Attorney Tim Lohmar said on Wednesday that Joshua Smith, who worked in the police department in Floresant, Missouri, is facing charges of first-degree and fourth-degree assault and armed criminal act.
Prosecutors said the charges were filed after reviewing a camera footage of a resident recorded on June 2. Smith was expelled on June 10.
“The moment the car directed its headlights to the victim, it became a 4,000-pound missile,” Lohmar told reporters.
Smith Rosenblum, Smith’s lawyer, told CNN that the video was a small part of the encounter and “fails to tell the full story” of the accident, which he described as an accident “in exceptional circumstances.”
The officer participated in the chase of a vehicle.
“We have a situation where the driver jumped after taking off from a moving vehicle – which allowed the car to continue to run,” Rosenblum wrote in an email. “The injured person unexpectedly jumped out of the car. Mr. Smith had never intended to hit him. No one expected passengers to jump in front of him from a moving car.”
A video clip from the scene shows the man being injured running from a car slowly rolling over a street.
Lohmar said that the fourth degree attack stems from the former officer kicking the victim while he was on the ground, and he was already suffering from an ankle fracture.
A statement says a possible reason that Smith also hit the man before he was put on handcuffs.
“It was shocking to say the least,” Lohmar said of the video.
Gerell Christmas, the lawyer for the anonymous injured man, told KMOV’s CNN that his client “has suffered serious injuries that require surgery and is still shocked by this terrible accident.”
Lohmar said that Smith, who had been working with Floresant police for nine years before being fired last week after a previous video was released, was on security details because of “hints of looting and vandalism” after anti-racist protests in the area. .
Lohmar said that Smith, 31, and two other police officers in the SUV were following a car that matched the description of a car involved in the “gunshot” incident a few days ago.
Officials said the car did not stop immediately when Smith turned on the siren and unmarked Ford Explorer lights. Lohmar said that it eventually stopped in a residential neighborhood as the passengers got out and ran. He added that the victim was one of these three, according to Lohmar.
Floresant is located north of St. Louis and close to Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in a confrontation with the police in 2014 that gave rise to a black life movement.
CNN Gregory Lemus contributed to this report.