Phoenix police arrest rookie officer for assaulting man while handcuffed

Jul 23, 2021, 7:33 PM | Updated: Jul 25, 2021, 12:24 pm
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)...
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX — A 23-year-old Phoenix police officer has been arrested for assaulting a man while he was handcuffed last week, authorities said.

Connor Orth-Smith was arrested and booked for aggravated assault for the incident that occurred July 16 around 6:45 p.m. near the area of 99th Avenue and McDowell Road.

Officers learned the probationary officer was called to help security personnel at a nearby hospital after a man refused to leave the property and became physical with security.

Police said “subsequent interactions” prompted Orth-Smith to arrest the man, who appeared to be intoxicated, for aggravated assault on a police officer.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office alerted Phoenix police several days later about concerns regarding the body-worn camera video related to the arrest.

At the same time, police said an internal review of the incident was underway.

Further investigation showed Orth-Smith physically assaulting the man while he was handcuffed, causing visible injuries.

The officer joined the Phoenix Police Department in May 2020 and was assigned to patrol in Maryvale-Estrella Mountain Precinct in Nov. 2020.

Police said Orth-Smith tendered his resignation.

“The behavior captured on the body-worn camera in this instance is egregious, appalling and will not be tolerated,” Police Chief Jeri Williams said in a statement.

“Our agency took decisive and immediate action. Acts like these leave a blemish on the badge and affect the noble profession of policing, making it more difficult for the men and women who police with integrity and honor.”

The criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Additionally, there is a concurrent administrative investigation being conducted that will look into potential policy violations.

“This isolated incident is not reflective of the work being done by the good women and men of our agency,” Williams said. “They work diligently to protect the lives and property of our community.”

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Phoenix police arrest rookie officer for assaulting man while handcuffed