Taser cop had checkered PTC police past


A case being reviewed by Coweta County District Attorney Pete Skandalakis pertaining to the tasing death of a man off Interstate 85 by two Coweta County deputies in November 2015 includes a former Peachtree City officer.

Coweta Deputy Samuel Smith was hired by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office subsequent to serving more than 20 years as a police officer in Peachtree City. Smith was terminated as an officer in Peachtree City in 2014.

The November 2015 incident occurred when Coweta County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call made by Alan Sherman’s mother in a location off Interstate 85.

Sherman’s mother indicated that Sherman was suffering from a psychotic break as a result of ingesting drugs believed to be “spice.” Sherman’s father and girlfriend attempted to restrain Sherman while deputies were in route to the scene, GBI said.

“When deputies arrived, they attempted to gain control of Sherman. Throughout the struggle, one of the deputies deployed a taser in an attempt to control Sherman. Sherman continued to resist the deputies and medical personnel that arrived on the scene. Sherman stopped fighting and went into medical distress at which point deputies and EMS started performing CPR,” according to a report by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Skandalakis on Thursday said his office has received information from GBI and has met with Sherman’s family. Skandalakis, who said Smith is currently employed by the sheriff’s office, said his office is currently reviewing the case.

Meantime, the Sherman family has hired attorney Chris Stewart.

Smith was terminated from the Peachtree City Police Department in May 2014 after having been put on paid administrative leave the prior month. The termination came after an internal investigation dealing with failure to comply with department procedures pertaining to vehicle pursuits and emergency vehicle operations, running stop signs, an improper turn at an intersection, speeding and failure to use emergency equipment, according to city personnel records.

In total, Smith received 30 separate disciplinary actions during his 23-year tenure with the department.

The city’s disciplinary action record from May 2014 stated that Smith has been disciplined for the operation of his vehicle multiple times over the course of his career, city records said.

Smith in September 2013 received oral counseling for an accidental discharge of his taser while testing the unit.

He was also suspended without pay in 2012 and demoted from sergeant to corporal for violations involving vehicle pursuits and emergency vehicle operations, reckless driving and poor judgement and decision-making.

Smith often received “fully satisfactory” or “outstanding” performance evaluation and regular increases in pay in the years prior to 2013, though he also received oral or written counseling or reprimands. He was demoted from sergeant to corporal with a one-year probation in 1997 based on offenses related to his performance of duty and unbecoming conduct. He was hired in 1991, according to city records.