Westfield cop investigated for excessive force

A Westfield police officer has been placed on leave while the Hamilton County Sheriff┬┐s Department investigates him for the use of excessive force.

Westfield, Ind.

A Westfield police officer has been placed on leave while the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department investigates him for the use of excessive force.

Officer Andrew Gilreath has been with the Westfield Police Department for seven years and according to a spokesperson, he has never been in trouble before.

Gilreath is accused of hitting 22-year-old Steven M. Smith of Indianapolis in the head with his gun while arresting him for shoplifting at Westfield’s Target on Saturday.

Smith told Fox59, he suffered a gash on his head, had to be hospitalized and received seven staples.

Smith’s mother, Michelle Smith, was waiting for her son in the car outside the store when officers showed up.

"It's just upsetting to me to think that police officers think they can treat people that way," she said.

Fox59 learned that a fellow officer reported Gilreath after the alleged incident.

Michelle Smith said her son wasn’t the only one roughed up. She said Gilreath approached her too.

"He said 'Ma'am, do you realize you have a pistol held to your head?' and then he took his hand and pushed me down to the ground and handcuffed me."

She said Gilreath acted completely different than the other officers.

"He just seemed to have the attitude that no matter what, we were pieces of dirt and you know, we were at his mercy."

Westfield Police Department’s spokesperson told Fox59, the investigation is expected to be complete by mid-next week.
 

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