Councilwoman Kandie Smith Found Not Guilty

A Greenville city councilwoman was found not guilty this afternoon of trespassing and resisting arrest.

Kandie Smith's day long trial ended late Tuesday afternoon when Onslow County District Court Judge Paul Hardison rendered his decision.

The councilwoman was arrested after an incident in the early morning hours of June 6th. Smith said she was looking into allegations of police brutality and harassment in downtown Greenville when she was arrested.

The judge said just three minutes passed from when Smith first encountered Officer Bruce Grocia and when he placed her under arrest. The judge ruled that was not enough time for someone to be trespassing.

Judge Hardison also said Smith had the right to question why she was being arrested in explaining his decision not to find her guilty of resisting arrest.

"I hate that we had to waste so much time and resources on this case because, you know, I wish it really never happened in the first place," Smith told WITN after the verdict. "I am going to continue to represent my citizens of my district and Greenville and do the things that I need to do and when it comes to research, I just do research."

Smith said she still is going to support the police department, but wants to look into policies saying she would hate for this to happen to anyone else.

Smith took the witness stand in her own defense during the day-long trial. She testified that she did not pull away from Officer Grocia when he tried to arrest her.

Smith's arrest brought on a storm of protests. Some called for her to resign, while others said Greenville Police Chief William Anderson should step down.


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A district court judge is now hearing closing arguments in the trial of a Greenville city councilwoman who is accused of trespassing and resisting arrest.

For the first time since her arrest, Kandie Smith told her side of the story in public.

Smith was on the witness stand for about two hours Tuesday afternoon.

The councilwoman was arrested after an incident in the early morning hours of June 6th. Smith said she was looking into allegations of police brutality and harassment in downtown Greenville when she was arrested.

Smith testified that Officer Bruce Grocia came up, said something which she didn't understand, and she asked him to repeat. Smith said the officer told them they needed to move along.

Smith told the judge she asked the officer where they could go, asked if it was okay to go across the street to Pita Pit where some girls were standing. She says Grocia told them if they didn't move they could be arrested for trespassing. Smith told the officer that didn't make sense and turned to walk away.

The councilwoman says she took three or four steps when Grocia grabbed her hand from behind and his right arm came around neck. At that point Smith told her friends to call the police chief and told the officer she
was a member of city council and said was there observing her district.

The SBI released its findings to the district attorney a month ago. Smith told WITN she expected the SBI report to be made public in court Tuesday.

Smith's arrest brought on a storm of protests. Some called for her to resign, while others said Greenville Police Chief William Anderson should step down.

Onslow County District Court Judge Paul Hardison says he expects to issue his verdict before the end of the day.


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