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Springfield, Florida — A Springfield police officer was arrested and charged with a felony after he allegedly used excessive force on a resident, Springfield Police and Bay County Sheriff’s officials said during a joint news conference. Former officer Ronnie Nelson had been arrested on a felony official misconduct charge and a misdemeanor battery charge. Nelson has been placed on unpaid leave and is pending termination. The incident was recorded on body-cam footage showing Nelson pulling and deploying a taser on an unarmed man, Solomon Smith, who officers thought had given a fake name to the police.
The incident happened on Business Highway 98 in Springfield, after officers stopped Smith as he was walking alone around midnight on May 29. An investigation into the incident revealed that Smith was stopped without a warrant and had given his correct name. His mother also told police that he has had a developmental disorder since he was a child. It was also found that officer Nelson falsified the police report, saying Smith had tried to throw a punch at the rookie officer on scene. Two other officers that were on the scene told police Smith never tried to throw a punch.
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