The former Santa Fe police officer who was caught on tape beating a handcuffed teenager still has his law enforcement academy certification more than two years after he was fired for his role in the incident.
David Smoker, 33, was recorded on a Santa Fe Police Department video surveillance system slapping 17-year-old Brendon Singer and knocking him to the ground. The City of Santa Fe settled with Singer for $15,000 and fired Smoker and Officer Robert Hollingsworth, who witnessed the attack but did nothing to stop it.
At a Dec. 7 meeting of the Law Enforcement Academy Board, which oversees the officer certification process, the board voted unanimously to deny Smoker’s request for approximately 99 previous LEA case files.
“I’ll compare apples to apples,” LEA Director Art Ortiz tells SFR. “If there’s any cases similar to a police officer beating a handcuffed juvenile, then I think we have something similar, but [Smoker’s lawyer Daniel Yohalem is] going beyond the scope, and he’s out there reaching for all kinds of cases that aren’t even close. And I think he’s just being totally ridiculous.”
Smoker’s two discovery requests have delayed the board from taking action for a year. Hollingsworth already has served his one-year suspension.
Yohalem didn’t return a call for comment before press time.