Brother of arrested man with intellectual disability speaks out

Brother of arrested man with intellectual disability speaks out
Family members said Leonard went to the store for decades (Source: WALB)
APD is looking into the complaint (Source: WALB)
APD is looking into the complaint (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany man is speaking out after his brother, who he said has an intellectual disability, ended up in the Dougherty County Jail.

Albany Police said they are aware of the complaint and that they are looking into it.

These are the doors the family of Leonard Smith, 63, said he went in and out of for decades.

"This store is nice to my brother. They really are," Eugene Smith said. "They sometimes will call me at night. They'll say your brother is over here come get him or whatever."

Leonard's brother Eugene Smith said Tuesday that wasn't the case. Police arrested Leonard, who his brother says has an intellectual disability.

"He said they had no way of knowing Leonard was a mental patient and I begged him to ask my brother a question," Smith said.

Eugene said police wouldn't do that during his meeting after the arrest. He said Leonard shouldn't have been arrested but instead taken home or to the hospital.

"I told him I wasn't going to let this go," Smith said, in reference to a promise he made with a person helping him get his brother's charge dropped.  "He made me promise I wouldn't let it go."

Leonard ended up in Dougherty County Jail, charged with Criminal Trespass.

This happened after police reports state Leonard was given a warning ten days before when a complaint was filed by someone at the business.

Eugene said he spoke to the arresting officer on the phone, who was not working at the time of the call, explaining his brother's condition and ultimately got hung up on.

"He took the oath of office to serve the community," Smith said. "I don't think he should of hung up. That's just serving himself."

Now, he said he feels wronged and he wants an apology from the arresting officer.

"I want a public apology from this police officer for what he did to my brother because it's a travesty of justice what he did to my brother Leonard," Smith said. "It really is."

He said he also wants an explanation for why he was hung up on, and most of all, to see the charge against his brother, who he said doesn't have the mental capacity to understand a warning, dropped.

Smith said the criminal trespass charge against his brother still stands, but he is out on bond.

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.