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Man Sprayed Through Window by RPD Sues City, Police

Police pepper spraying a woman on a dark street
Video of police pepper spraying a group of women then a man in his own home was captured in May. (Screenshot of video by Mikhail Smith)

A man is suing an unnamed police officer and the City of Richmond for $400,000 in damages after officers deployed chemical agents on him through his apartment window in late May.

Mikhail Smith recorded Richmond police officers seemingly spraying people on the street without provocation following a night of protests. In the video, he yells at the officers, then they spray him through his window.

Smith is suing the city and an unnamed Richmond police officer for $200,000 in compensatory damages, and an additional $200,000 in punitive damages.

“I definitely want to donate to several social justice organizations in Richmond. The amount of support that I’ve had is overwhelming,” he said.

The lawsuit says police unlawfully entered Smith’s home, subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment, and violated his freedom of speech. The Richmond Police Department declined to comment on the lawsuit.

(WARNING: Depicts violence, obscenities. Video: Mikhail Smith)

Smith says he’s received racist comments and threats from hate groups because of his video.

“It’s been a struggle. Part of me doesn’t want to live in Richmond after this is resolved because of the fear of not being to walk around as a normal, free American, constantly having to look over my shoulder,” Smith said. “Having to think constantly about my surroundings is emotionally draining.”

Smith’s attorney is also representing one of the women sprayed in the video in a separate lawsuit, accusing two unnamed police officers with numerous civil rights violations.

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