Woman sues police officer she claims injured her with shove

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 8:19pm

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.

9 Comments on this post:

By: richgoose on 1/27/11 at 11:44

I have very little respect for most cops but I have even less respect for our system of justice that allows a "person" like this Mitchell to file a lawsuit.

I would think that someone might consider filing a lawsuit against this woman for "impersonating a human being."

By: govskeptic on 1/28/11 at 6:30

If the Officer had to ask her twice to move and she purposefully did not
then a shove might have been in order for this man to do his job.
If the Justice system and the Police Dept thinks the Officer needs to be
tried or fired then get on with it.

These suspensions with pay by so many public employees is a drain on precious tax dollars that never seem to be taken into consideration and often last for months & months. Crazy!

By: 3angels on 1/28/11 at 7:12

Ok, this woman attacked someone and she wants to sue. Unreal!

By: nikkinicole642 on 1/28/11 at 8:13

It's not a matter of her being right or wrong...it's a matter of her RIGHTS. She has the right to sue if she chooses. If not for herself, for the countless people who have been abused by excessive force from police officers.

If she has to go to jail and be charged for her vandalism then someone should be held responsible for her injuries. Asking her to move 2 times does not justify him PUSHING her down. He could have moved her over.

You people are so quick to give up your rights.

@3angels "Ok, this woman attacked someone and she wants to sue. Unreal!"

What does her altercation with her neighbor have to do with the lawsuit against the Police Department for being shoved to the ground?



Umm, yeah the level of your stupidity is Unreal!

By: Alphadog7 on 1/28/11 at 8:29

Malignant Narcissism

By: dhemen on 1/28/11 at 9:06

I say give her the money! Then, tell her that she has to give 100% of her newfound riches to the people that she tried throwing a brick at! This woman, and I use that very loosely, has some nerve! I say that she got what she deserved. Kharma is a beyotch! ;)

By: GUARDIAN on 1/28/11 at 12:16

GUARDIAN- The neighbor should of shot her. lol I kidding aside I could stand around in the police station with my hands cuffed and get several lawsuits a day it would be easy. I had a criminal who I had cuffed run head first into a wall one night years ago. We had just installed cameras so that ended him getting charges thrown out and no lawsuit. Did cameras get this or did she do it to herself.

By: PromosFriend on 1/28/11 at 4:41

Obviously we do not have enough details to understand whether the woman has a case or not. She was probably being obstinate, but police officers are supposed to be trained to handle such types without resorting to violence. Did the officer give her a little push to encourage her to move and then she got her feet tangled? Or, did the officer angrily shove her hard enough to knock her down? The fact that he was immediately suspended makes me wonder about how he actually acted towards the woman. I hope that there is video evidence to help answer these questions for the jury.

By: gohomenow on 1/31/11 at 2:59

Wonder which fee grabbing, bottom dwelling lawyer got hold of this one ?