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Story Archives: Complaints filed with DA over arrests in Ferriday
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|Complaints filed with DA over arrests in Ferriday|
Phil Smith says he's taken his complaints against the Ferriday Police Department to the District Attorney's office and is in the process of hiring a Baton Rouge attorney to file a civil suit against the department.
His actions, he said, stem from his arrest and that of his wife, Lisa Smith, on February 7th in the parking lot of Home Hardware Center in Ferriday.
He also claims that when his wallet was returned to him after his arrest that $140 in cash was missing.
Smith, who works at Home Hardware Center, said he was standing against the outer wall of the store when Lisa Smith walked over to officer Derrick Freeman who was writing a motorist a ticket in the parking lot. She told the officer that a man had tried to sell her some drugs on Sixth Street.
Smith said the officer ordered Lisa Smith to move away.
"She complied and she and I were standing against the building when he later approached us," said Smith. "I thought he was going to ask about the drugs but instead he arrested Lisa."
Later, Smith said he was also arrested. Both he and his wife were handcuffed and he said neither argued with Freeman nor any other officers.
When arrested, Phil Smith said he was ordered to empty his pockets on the trunk of the officer's car.
Smith said each were booked at the parish jail for interference with State Police and resisting an officer.
"There was no trooper and the sheriff's office made calls back and forth to Ferriday to ask about the charge but Ferriday insisted that we be charged with interference with State Police even though there was no State Police officer there," said Smith.
"Neither of us resisted arrest either," he said.
Smith said that he had about $225 in cash in his wallet but when it was returned to him afterward that $140 was gone.
"I had only bought lunch that day," said Smith. He said in one part of his wallet he had a $100 bill and two $20s.
"That's what was missing," he said
He said he made three calls to Ferriday Police Chief Richard Madison to discuss the case and his call has yet to be returned.
Smith said Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen was contacted about the incident by Donna Maroon, his mother-in-law, but that Allen "echoed Freeman's statements. He said that me and Lisa had repeatedly interrupted Freeman, which we did not do."
Smith said he and "other witnesses" have also provided statements to the District Attorney concerning his arrest and treatment by law officers.
The District Attorney's office confirmed Tuesday that Smith and two witnesses have given statements and that one other witness will also to be interviewed.
"I think it's pitiful that the only thing I fear in my daily life in Ferriday is not random crime but that I get nervous when I see a Ferriday police car," said Smith. "Now I and others try to bypass Ferriday and this situation has long been hurting Ferriday businesses."
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