FORREST CITY, Ark. — A controversial Forrest City police officer is no longer on the force.
Chief Deon Lee confirms that former Lt. Darren Smith was fired on Monday, two weeks after a highly-publicized shoving episode.
Cell phone video shows Smith shoving Arsenio Clinton on April 9.
“I made eye contact and he thought I had a problem ‘cause I made eye contact,” Clinton said.
Smith was placed on paid leave following the incident. Lee said there were many reasons Smith’s employment was terminated but acknowledged the shoving incident was one of them.
“When he left, the whole of Forrest City, it’s like a burden off our shoulders gone,” Clinton said.
Since Smith joined the force in 2014, he’s been the subject of numerous news stories.
In 2017, Clinton claims Smith pulled a gun on his friend inside Walmart. Part of this was captured on camera and led to a demonstration outside the police department.
That same year, witnesses claimed Smith used a Taser on a man without warning at a nightclub.
“I don’t how many, but Imma just say 30 to 40 police officers around here. He the only one starting altercations. Why just him?” Timothy Graham said at the time.
When approached Wednesday afternoon, Smith declined to comment and asked WREG to leave.
Lee said Smith plans to appeal his termination to the city’s mayor.
Smith previously filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination when he was fired by the Arkansas Highway Patrol in 2012. They ended up settling with him for about $371,000 and agreed to "purge Smith's personnel file of any documentation referencing discipline" as well as provide a "neutral reference letter."
Years later, he’s once again out of a job.
“I wish nothing but the best for him. I don’t wish nothing bad on him, but law enforcement’s not his job. It’s not the job for him,” Clinton said.
Prosecutors examined the April 9 incident, but Lee said they decided not to move forward with charges.