LITHONIA, Ga. -- Days after allegations surfaced accusing the police chief of choking a handcuffed teen, the Lithonia city council is calling a special meeting. The notice was posted Friday morning at City Hall.
11Alive's Valerie Hoff has confirmed the 6:30 Monday night "executive session to discuss personnel matters" will address the city administrator's investigation of Lithonia Police Chief Roosevelt Smith and Capt. Lloyd Owens.
11Alive has also confirmed through sources that the DeKalb County District Attorney's office Public Integrity Unit is looking into the February 5th choking incident as well.
Seventeen-year-old Isiah Harvey filed a complaint saying the Chief choked him, bloodied his wrists, and threatened to Tase him in the head, and stomach all while he was handcuffed in the back of the chief's patrol car. Capt. Owens is accused of not stepping in to help, and holding him down at one point. Another Lithonia Police officer, Sgt. A. Hatchett filed a statement supporting the teen's account of the excessive force.
The Lithonia City Council voted to have city administrator Eddie Moody investigate the complaints. Harvey's attorney questions that choice, saying Moody, a former police chief himself, is the one who appointed Chief Roosevelt to his current position. The chief says he put his hands on the teen after Harvey tried to kick him and threatened him. The teen denies it.
Harvey's attorney, Frank Smith, said that the police chief violated his own policy by pointing the Taser at Harvey's head, an infraction enumerated in Chief Roosevelt Smith's own training materials.
"You're not supposed to use it against an individual who is in handcuffs," Franks Smith added. "You can't turn the light on that Taser and threaten, or use it to intimidate an individual."
Harvey's attorney notified the city his client's family plans to sue. Harvey's father Ricky Thomas told 11Alive on Thursday he wants the police chief to "Do the right thing."
City council members have received an open letter from current and former officers in the department calling for the chief's suspension.
"He's arrogant, he has an attitude like he's better than everyone else, he talks town to people and he picks and chooses who he's going to do things for," said former reserve officer Foster Hill.
Hill said he quit after his complaints to the City Administrator and City Council about favoritism went nowhere.
Moody said Friday that the investigation into Harvey's arrest is progressing and he'll brief council members on Monday.
The Lithonia Police Department is made up of about 25 officers. Only around 5 are paid full-time positions, others are part time or reservists. The department has had four different chiefs or acting chiefs over the past four years.
Moody, who is conducting the excessive force investigation, was the chief prior to Roosevelt Smith.