Geneva Smith, an 84-year-old woman, was pepper-sprayed by police in her own home while police were searching for her 56-year-old son, Arthur Paul Blackmon, last week in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Fox News 23 in Oklahoma obtained body camera footage of the incident from local police, which shows officers engaged in a heated interaction with Smith before an officer pepper-sprayed her in the face.
Police arrived to Smith's home in search of her son after police say he ran a stop sign but refused to stop when police attempted to pull him over, according to Fox 23. Police pursued Blackmon to Smith's home, where they broke down the door after he refused to come out of the house. Blackmon was tasered while his hands were in the air.
When Smith entered the room, police asked her to turn around or they would use pepper-spray on her. Smith did not turn around, and then police sprayed her in the face. There was a 40-second lapse between the initial warning and when police sprayed Smith, according to Fox 23. After police deployed the spray, the footage shows Smith can be seen falling back towards a table, then making her way to the floor.
In an interview with Fox 23 before police released the body camera footage, Smith said she was considering suing the police and said she did nothing to warrant being sprayed. "I just came out and asked them what was going on, and they just pepper-sprayed me," Smith said. After she was pepper-sprayed, Smith says police took her to jail, and then she went to the hospital after becoming ill while in custody.
Fox 23 reported the incident is being investigated, and Chief of Police Rex Eskridge told the station: "This is a very important issue. There is a lot of missing information out there. There is a lot of prejudgment out there and a lot of concern."