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Local

Newton man charged for making false claims of police brutality

After a nearly five months of internal investigations, Maxie L. Smith, 52, of Newton turned himself in and was charged at 11:44 a.m. Thursday for allegedly making false claims of police brutality against the Newton Police Department, Newton Fire Department and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said Smith filed a complaint with Newton Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich following his arrest for driving while license barred and reported that a Newton police officer beat him with a nightstick while yelling racial insults. He also said the same officer later kicked him at the Jasper County Jail.

Smith also said a Newton firefighter held him down at the jail by placing a knee on the back of his neck, while jailers and other officers repeatedly kicked him.

After an investigation into the complaints, which including a review of video surveillance tapes, police found none of Smith’s accusations to be true and issued a warrant for his arrest.

Newton police charged him with two counts of making false reports, a serious misdemeanor, and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department charged him with one count of making a false report. Police also discovered he was wanted for failure to appear in court for his previous arrest for driving while license barred.

He was taken in the Jasper County Jail.

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