Former MU Basketball player files complaint with Columbia Police Department

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Former MU basketball player Willie Smith has gone forward with pressing charges against the Columbia Police Department.

“He filed the complaint (against the Police Department) on March 12 for using excessive force during an arrest,” said Andrew Popplewell, Smith’s attorney.

Popplewell said Smith has done his part and the matter is now an internal investigation within the Police Department. “The Police Department said it would take 30 to 50 days to complete the investigation.”

Interim Police Chief Tom Dresner stated in a comment on an article on the Columbia Daily Tribune's Web site that he wants Smith to come in and talk to the department in order to have all sides of the story before a decision is made.

Popplewell said he couldn’t encourage his client to go into the department when there is a possibility of pending charges against him.

Smith was arrested early in the morning on March 9 for resisting arrest and obstructing a government operation.

Police were responding to a burglary alarm that went off at Smokin’ Chick’s BBQ Restaurant, which is next door to Bella Salon, where Smith cleans every Sunday night.

Smith said police did not give him a chance to explain why he was there, but instead handcuffed him, sprayed him with Mace and slammed his head against a police car. Smith said he suffered contusions to his face and nose.

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Charles Dudley Jr March 17, 2009 | 4:44 a.m.

>>> Popplewell said he couldn’t encourage his client to go into the department when there is a possibility of pending charges against him. <<<

Sounds like they do not want to get this cleared up or reach across the table at all in trying to understand it from all angles.

Not a smart move at all unless Smith and his attorney have another agenda. Sounds like Smith needs to retain a smarter attorney.

(Report Comment)
Panama Red March 17, 2009 | 7:18 a.m.

Sure is a shame to treat Willie this way ...

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