Another Alleged Assault by Augusta County Sheriff's Deputies Raises Concerns of Pattern of Violence
Photo Credit: Breaking Through News
Written by: Sam Orlando
The Augusta County Sheriff's Office is once again facing allegations of police brutality, after a Stuarts Draft man was reportedly beaten by deputies during a New Year's Eve encounter. Jeffrey Scott Snead, 32, was approached by deputies while talking to one of them, only to be suddenly slammed to the ground by another deputy. Snead's mother, Tammie Myers, claims that the deputies proceeded to beat her son in front of his father, using nightsticks like baseball bats and pepper spraying and tazing him four times. Myers reports that the deputies attempted to gouge out Snead's eye with a police baton, leaving him with significant injuries to his legs, back, chest, head, and face. Myers provided Breaking Through News with the following photos of her son Jefferey after his attack by Augusta deputies:
The incident raises concerns of a pattern of violence by deputies, similar to previous complaints of Marvin Harris and Tye Gregory. Snead's case is the latest in a string of allegations against the Augusta County Sheriff's Office, with one deputy already under criminal investigation for assaulting two police auditors last year. These incidents are causing outrage among citizens, who are calling for more oversight and accountability from law enforcement agencies.
But it's not just the deputies who are under scrutiny. Sheriff Donald Smith has also come under fire recently, with accusations of perjury during a trial in Staunton in September of 2022. The trial in question involved police protestors who alleged that their arrests for noise ordinance violations were politically motivated. The protestors had accused the Sheriff of lying to federal agents to protect his "close friend", who had been accused of child sex solicitation and convicted of human trafficking related offenses. The protestors allege that Sheriff Donald Smith only ordered their arrest when they began to chant about his "close friend" and when they read from portions of the Sheriff's close friend's chat log with what he thought was a minor child. The Sheriff was asked during the trial whether he had lied to federal agents in his friend's human trafficking case, and the Sheriff denied that he had lied. However, Breaking Through News has received a copy of an affidavit from DHS agent Tami Ketcham that states he did lie about jail phone calls from his friend.
The allegations against Sheriff Smith, combined with the repeated claims of excessive force by deputies, have many residents of Augusta County concerned about the state of law enforcement in their community. Myers has filed complaints against the deputies involved in her son's beating, but the Sheriff Donald Smith summarily dismissed her claims with a curt and dismissive letter. See Sheriff Smith's letter below:
Myers argues that the police reports filed after the beating of her son are false and her son is now facing unjust charges. She is calling for an end to excessive police force, stating that "accredited recognition is a complete and utter failure on the behavior of the entire department."
Outside of Sheriff Smith's curt letter to Myers, the Augusta County Sheriff's Office has yet to comment on the latest allegations. With repeated incidents of excessive force and now accusations of perjury, many are calling for a complete overhaul of the department. It remains to be seen how these events will play out, but one thing is clear: citizens will not stay silent when it comes to police brutality and abuse of power.