Lithonia police chief cleared in excessive force investigation

A metro Atlanta police chief accused of choking a teenager while in handcuffs has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Lithonia police Chief Roosevelt Smith had been the subject of an investigation after 17-year-old Isaiah Harvey said the chief used excessive force during a Feb. 5 arrest. City Manager Eddie Moody's office received a use of force complaint against Smith, multiple television stations reported last month.

The attorney hired to represent Harvey, Frank Smith, previously told 11Alive that after Harvey was placed in the chief’s patrol car, the chief turned Harvey’s head to assess scratches obtained while fleeing through the woods.

“When Mr. Harvey turned his head in an unsatisfactory manner, Chief Smith quickly, and without provocation, became enraged, leaned over in his seat and made punching movements at the face of Mr. Harvey before grabbing him by the lower chin/jaw and squeezing tightly,” according to the statement of facts filed by Smith.

According to 11Alive, the Lithonia City Council on Monday voted 3-2 to clear Smith.

— Staff writer Ellen Eldridge contributed to this article.