by Brian A. Wilkins
3/23/2009 (links and photos updated January 6, 2020)
UPDATED November 12, 2010 – Smith acquitted, charges dropped against the other two cops
No surprises here. It’s the United Police States of America after all. A third cop, Jeremy Layman, was also charged in the incident. Smith was acquitted last week by a jury. State’s attorney Kevin Lyons dropped the charges against the other two after the acquittal. All of them will soon be back on the force with a paid vacation, aka “paid administrative leave.” The vacation will span months as Peoria Police complete their own kangaroo investigation.
PEORIA, IL. — Bryce Scott was outside of his girlfriend’s house on May 3, 2008. His girlfriend’s mother called police because Scott was “outside her home,” according to the civil lawsuit filed by Mr. Scott in Peoria County Circuit Court on January 13. Mr. Scott, 34, led the police on a brief chase before stopping and surrendering. The police dash cam video tells the story from here.
Scott was kicked, stomped, punched, and Tasered several times by the thug cops. He was not charged with any crimes that night. The police said Scott “became combative” while on the ground, which is why they assaulted him. Peoria County Attorney Kevin Lyons said he did not file charges sooner because he was unaware of the incident until Scott filed the civil suit.
Smith and Suelter were arrested and booked into Peoria County Jail on March 16. Each face identical counts of official misconduct, aggravated battery, battery, and mob action. Shane Voyles, the attorney representing the thugs, accused Lyons of filing the charges in retaliation for the Peoria Police Union backing a different candidate for State’s Attorney last year. Bail was set at $10,000 for both cops. Scott is currently being held in that same Peoria County Jail on separate charges.
The good news is the two police thugs must answer for their thuggery under color of law. It’s a shame Mr. Scott is also in jail. He’s apparently facing charges of possession with intent to deliver heroin. But Scott is in jail for non-violent drug crimes, not thuggery like these cops.
There are so many elements to this story. Its hard to comment much right now. Scott is facing criminal charges, the two thugs are facing criminal charges, more Peoria cops may be charged in the incident, and the civil suit vs. Peoria police and the individual cops. We’ll keep you up to date as it all unfolds.