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Springfield Police Officer arrested for official misconduct and battery

Ronnie Nelson arrested Tuesday, June 9 and charged with felony official misconduct and a...
Ronnie Nelson arrested Tuesday, June 9 and charged with felony official misconduct and a misdemeanor charge of battery. (Bay County Jail)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 2:21 PM CDT
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The Springfield Police Department and the Bay County Sheriff's Office held a press conference to announce the arrest of a Springfield Police Officer after review of an incident that happened May 29.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said the victim, Solomon Smith, was walking on the sidewalk just after midnight on the night of the 29th when Officer Ronnie Nelson and a recruit officer got out of their patrol car to speak with him.

Ford said Smith questioned why he was being stopped and gave the officers his correct name and date of birth.

According to Ford, the recruit officer went to enter the information Smith had given them into the system but misheard Smith's name.

Ford said the recruit officer came back and told Nelson Smith had given a false name. Nelson then pulled out his taser and told Smith to put his hands behind his back.

According to Ford, an argument broke out between Smith and the officers where Smith told the officers he hadn't done anything wrong. The recruit officer then called for backup. A backup officer arrived and Nelson deployed his taser at Smith.

Ford said they do not believe the taser made contact with Smith and they think it was caught in his shirt. Smith did not go to the ground and the backup officer then took Smith to the ground.

Ford said Nelson also falsely reported Smith had thrown a punch at the rookie officer on scene.

Two other officers on scene told investigators Smith never tried to throw a punch.

The Springfield Police Chief said after reviewing footage of the incident, all charges against Smith were dropped and a criminal investigation was opened up into the incident.

Ronnie Nelson was arrested Tuesday, June 9th, and charged with felony official misconduct and a misdemeanor charge of battery.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

The Springfield Police Department along with the Bay County Sheriff's Office held a press conference to announce the arrest of a Springfield Police Officer after review of an incident on May 29.

Posted by WJHG-TV on Tuesday, June 9, 2020