A woman who claimed a police officer shoved and injured her last fall while she was waiting to be booked is suing the now former officer along with Metro government.
Yolanda D. Mitchell, 54, arrested Nov. 7 on aggravated assault and vandalism charges, claimed Metro Nashville Police Department Officer Jonathan Smith shoved her out of the way while she was handcuffed, causing her to fall face first.
The suit, filed in Davidson County Circuit Court, states that Mitchell’s face and head were badly injured, requiring hospitalization and leading to facial disfigurement and permanent impairment. Mitchell is seeking $250,000 in damages.
An attorney with the Metro Department of Law said Metro has received the lawsuit but not yet had a chance to review it.
The incident occurred on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 7, following Mitchell’s arrest for throwing a concrete block and trying to hit her downstairs neighbor at Riverchase Apartments. Later, she allegedly smashed the neighbor’s windows with a tire iron.
Mitchell stood in the prisoner transfer room at the Criminal Justice Center waiting to be booked with her hands cuffed behind her back, according to the suit.
Smith, who was also in the transfer room on an unrelated arrest, “pushed Mitchell out of his way twice after asking her to move before ultimately shoving her, causing her to fall sideways,” according to Metro police.
The police department decommissioned Smith, relieving him of his authority as an officer, on the same morning of the incident. The department also launched a criminal investigation at the same time its Office of Professional Accountability opened an administrative investigation of the incident.
On Dec. 8, police charged Smith with felony aggravated assault charge.
Smith is on administrative assignment with the police department pending the charges and the OPA investigation. As such, Smith is required to stay home and regularly check in with the department.
Smith, who was 29 at the time he was charged, graduated from the police academy last April.
In December, the vandalism charge against Mitchell was dismissed, and she pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault.