EXCLUSIVE: April 2022 trial set for Fayetteville Med. Director in racial profiling case

Gregory Smith
Dr. Gregory Smith

By Cash Michaels

November 19, 2021 12:10AM
Cash Michaels
Cash Michaels

Gregory Smith is intent on making sure that the state of Missouri knows that it messed with the wrong Black man when a state trooper there allegedly racially profiled the Fayetteville medical director during a visit there last August in the middle of the night.

That’s why instead of a November 9th traffic court hearing via video hookup, Smith is now preparing for an April 18, 2022 trial in Platte County, Missouri to prove that when he was stopped, it was because he was driving while Black.

Not because he had broken any laws.

Smith was arrested for allegedly resisting an officer after he flew to Missouri three months ago for a medical conference. He claims that he was threatened with violence by a trooper, roughly handcuffed, unjustly charged $1,040 for a ticket for resisting the officer and forced to walk six miles in the dark of night to find his rental car, which authorities left at a gas station that distance from the Highway Patrol station.

Smith was hoping that a Black attorney he hired there would be ready to fight the false arrest for him, especially since Missouri is well-known in recent years for vigorously racially profiling African American drivers. But the Black attorney he initially hired showed little interest in fighting the bogus charge against Smith, he says.

“Ridiculous that I have to constantly contact this guy for updates,” Smith said recently by text. “I’ll have to find a different attorney there to sue them.”

So intent was Gregory Smith to fight what he saw was a serious racial injustice, that he also submitted formal complaints with the Missouri Governor’s Office, Missouri Attorney General’s Office, and the ACLU of Missouri.

Plus, Smith says he also spoke with a retired Missouri NAACP attorney about securing someone there to sue the Highway Patrol.

“We will have to bring this stuff into the biggest light, and put a stop to it, as best we can,” Smith said.

One of the reasons why Smith was so disenchanted with his initial attorney, as he said, is because he was being kept in the dark about what was going on with his case. On the morning of the November 9th hearing, Smith texted, “I’m so in the dark. I sent the attorney another email this [morning] asking for an update. I sent one two weeks ago so I would know if I needed to book flight, or whether this was going to be a video hearing? He just sent a response earlier saying it’s a video hearing. He still hasn’t sent me the link for it…yet.”

“I am a bit disenchanted with this Black attorney,” Smith continued. “Not sure he’s really on my team. It appears he just wanted the money just to go through the motions, just to be paid to address the ticket.”

“I’ll ride through it and continue pursuing justice.”

An hour later, a frustrated Smith texted this reporter, “I have patients on my schedule, and I still don’t know what time this court hearing is today. I requested info over a week ago, so as to coordinate my patient schedule.”

Smith continued that “…this is very poor on behalf of this BLACK male attorney I’ve retained. This is unacceptable….”

It would be later that Smith would text again, indicating that he requested a trial in Platte County, Missouri for Monday, April 18, 2022.

With a full-on trial, as opposed to just a traffic court hearing, Smith believes, along with a different attorney, that not only will he be able to testify about his harrowing racial profiling experience on August 6th, but also call at least one witness - the 9-1-1 operator who was on duty at the time when he called on his cellphone, and left it on so that she could both hear and record the tense exchange between him and the threatening trooper.

Smith might also be able to call as a witness the overnight store clerk he spoke with when he had to ask directions for getting to his rental car, and told that it was six miles away, six miles he would have to walk.

And Smith should be able to enter into the record the emergency room report about injuries he sustained from the tight handcuffs that were placed on him at the time of his arrest.

He is hoping that both the 9-1-1 recording and a dash cam video of his trooper encounter still exists so that the judge and/or jury can hear and see the threatening exchange and hear that the trooper never read Smith his rights upon arrest.

“I’m making it a big deal, not just to dismiss the ticket,” Smith wrote.

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