The St. Louis County Police Department has apologized to an innocent young Black man after admitting to causing severe injuries to his face when they mistakenly arrested him last Thursday afternoon.
The victim, identified as Joseph Swink, is a 22 year-old University of Missouri college student with no criminal record.
Swink, an accounting major, was on his way home from his internship when he accidentally became involved in the police chase.
According to KMOV St. Louis/Channel 4, The police were in pursuit of Anton Simmons, another Black male, who had 17 warrants our for his name, when Swink crashed his car trying to avoid the police pursuit on Interstate 70 outside of St. Louis.
When Swink’s car became filled with smoke, he ran from the vehicle, only to be tackled and brutally beaten by the officers who mistook him for Simmons.
The officers beat Swink so brutally they left him with severe damage to his ear. In addition, to the severe ear damage –Swink’s car is completely totaled.
“I never really had 100 percent trust in police before,” Swink said. “But I really don’t now.”
Chief Aaron Jimenez of The St. Ann Police Department issued an apology to Swink and had the following to say about the brutal incident:
“Most of the time when you see that you know this is the bad guy. He’s running. Unfortunately, he was a citizen.”
“They ended up grabbing him [Swink], tossing him to the ground, and were trying to handcuff him.” “All the sirens and lights were going off. It was very loud and they couldn’t hear anything the citizen was saying.”
“I do apologize. As the police chief who runs this city, I do apologize to Mr. Swink that this has happened.”
The St. Ann Police Department claims that the mistaken identity had “zero to do about race.” But, Swink does not agree and shared with Fox2 News that he feared for his life.
“There was nobody Black on the scene, just a lot of white cops. I didn’t feel safe around them,” he said. “I think they probably felt they could get away with it because I was and they can do this.”
Marettree Sanders, Swink’s grandmother, told Fox 2, “This is all we ask of our young men, to do the right thing, become productive citizens in this country and he’s not being given that opportunity because someone has mistaken him for a criminal and that upsets me very much.”
Photo Credits: Screenshot/Fox 2 News