Police involved in David Smith arrest, death will not face charges, Chief of Police says

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – In a letter released Wednesday evening, Peoria Chief of Police Loren Marion said none of the officers involved in the police custody death of David Smith on Oct. 10, 2019, will face criminal charges.

Marion said the officers were not responsible for Smith’s death as they did not use force on him during his arrest.

A complete and thorough investigation was conducted by the Illinois State Police and a review of the investigation was conducted by States Attorney Jodi Hoos. On 5/14/20 Ms. Hoos determined there would not be any criminal charges filed against the officers involved in this incident.

LOREN MARION, PEORIA POLICE CHIEF

In the full address of the incident, Marion released information he believes clears any conception of wrongdoing on the officers part.

In the case of David Smith that occurred on 10/29/19, officers responded to an armed robbery that had occurred at the Johnson Mini Mart. During the armed robbery, the store clerk fought with the suspect, later identified as David Smith, and was able to get the handgun away from him. The suspect fled the store on foot. The handgun was recovered at the scene.

Officers began searching the area for Smith. An officer spotted Smith and began chasing him on foot. The officer lost sight of Smith. Officers continued looking for Smith. After a short amount of time, officers located Smith, who ran again from officers. He was then located laying down in a yard next to his residence. Officers went up to Smith and handcuffed him. Officers did not use any force on
Smith. Officers stood Smith up to get him to their squad car. When they stood Smith up, Smith could not stand on his own. Officers carried Smith to the squad car. Smith’s lower body was limp, and his knees/feet were dragging on the ground while officers carried him to the car. Officers called for an ambulance to evaluate Smith.

Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) arrived and evaluated Smith. Paramedics evaluated Smith and released him to the officers.

An officer transported Smith to the station to be interviewed by detectives. When the transporting officer arrived at the station, he went into the station. The secondary officer watched Smith.

The secondary officer noticed Smith slumped over. With assistance from another officer, Smith was removed from the vehicle. Smith was unconscious. The officer called for an ambulance and immediately began performing life saving measures (CPR). Smith was transported to the hospital where he later died as a result of a congenital heart condition.

Even though officers did not use force on Smith, due to this being an in-custody death, I requested that ISP handle the investigation.

A complete and thorough investigation was conducted by the Illinois State Police and a review of the investigation was conducted by States Attorney Jodi Hoos. On 5/14/20 Ms. Hoos determined there would not be any criminal charges filed against the officers involved in this incident.

An internal investigation is currently being conducted.

LOREN MARION, PEORIA POLICE CHIEF

Marion said he hoped the information presented in the letter will help strengthen the relationship between the community and the department.

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