EDITOR’S NOTE: The video in this story is disturbing and should be viewed with caution.
MARTINEZ, Calif. (KRON) — A former Richmond Police Department Officer is facing a felony assault charge, and he is now out of a job, according to a press release from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
Eric Smith Jr., 28, faces one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon due to an incident that happened while Officer Smith Jr. was on duty. Smith Jr. is charged with further enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury as well as for the use of a deadly and dangerous weapon.
On April 9, 2022, around 1:00 a.m. during an attempted traffic stop in Richmond, Officer Smith Jr. allegedly struck the victim multiple times with a taser, causing great bodily injury.
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The Richmond Police Department brought the case to the DA’s Office for review. On Wednesday, RPD announced that Smith has been terminated from his position. Smith Jr.’s attorney Harry S. Stern provided a statement to KRON4:
“Eric Smith is a brilliant police officer and a great young man. He has taken more guns off the street than the entire department combined thus saving countless lives. It isn’t easy dealing with the violent criminal element these days. They have no respect for the law and too often have been getting a free pass, which only increases the vigor of their assaults against the public and police officers. The suspect was likely armed with one pistol which he discarded. It was entirely reasonable for young Ofc. Smith to believe he might have another.“Harry S. Stern, attorney for Eric. Smith Jr.
An arraignment for this case will be scheduled by the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa. Smith was released from jail after apparently meeting bail. His arraignment is set for Wednesday, August 31 at 1:30 p.m. in Martinez.