A St. Louis County police department is trying to make amends after a Black man was wrongfully arrested and beaten due to mistaken identity.
Joseph Swink was brutalized on his way home from an internship when cops captured him during a police chase on Thursday, KMOV reports. St. Louis County officers were pursuing a suspect named Anton Simmons, who had 17 different warrants out for his arrest. Suffice it to say, cops were definitely looking for him!
When Joseph saw the police barreling down the street behind him, he lost control of his own car while trying to get out of the way and crashed. He ran from his vehicle as it began to fill with smoke; he was almost immediately tackled to the ground by an officer and brutally beaten because cops thought he was Anton trying to make an escape.
Supposedly, cops got confused during the commotion in their pursuit of Anton because Joseph “fit the description.” Keep in mind that Joseph is an accounting student with no criminal history, who was actually trying to clear a path so police could catch their suspect.
“They ended up grabbing [Joseph], tossing him to the ground, and were trying to handcuff him,” St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez told KMOV. “All the sirens and lights were going off. It was very loud and they couldn’t hear anything the citizen was saying.”
Joseph suffered some serious injuries during the incident. Although Chief Jimenez has apologized for the wrongful arrest, Joseph’s view of the police force has forever been damaged.
“I never really had 100 percent trust in police before, but I really don’t now,” he told KMOV.
There’s no word on what happened to Anton, or if the police ever caught him. It’s unclear if Joseph plans to press charges, but we wouldn’t blame him if he did.