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Writer who investigated BCPD has warrant out for arrest

Updated: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Writer who investigated BCPD has warrant out for arrest story image

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A writer, who has been a strong voice behind corruption allegations within the Battle Creek Police Department, now has a warrant out for her arrest.

Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker confirmed to Newshcannel 3 that on Tuesday, the Calhoun County court approved a warrant to arrest Autumn Smith for false reporting of a crime to a 9-1-1 operator.

He says Smith called 9-1-1 in June to accuse then-Interim Chief Blocker of assaulting her before a City Commission meeting.

Smith is a contributor for the website PaleoRadio.us.

Newschannel 3 first reached out to Smith Wednesday morning to ask about the warrant for her arrest.

She said we would need to talk to her lawyer, but the call was disconnected before we could get a name or phone number.

But we can hear what those allegations are--in her own words--from the 9-1-1 recording.

"He grabbed my arm, and pulled me, and blocked the doorway, not allowing me to leave," Smith told a dispatcher. "I was trying to leave during conversation and he kind of bullied me and cornered me."

"I would like the State Police to respond because I've been investigating the police department for corruption which led up to the issue I just had, the assault," she added.

Smith may be referring to her reports over nearly two years, outlining why  more should be done to investigate corruption allegations within the Battle Creek Police Department.

State Police Detective Michael Spring says his agency became involved right after the 9-1-1 call was made.

"At that time, when he made contact with her, she decided she did not want to maek a complaint and did not meet with that detective," he said.

Spring says that Battle Creek Police also conducted their own internal investigation.

A surveillance camera also captured what happened at the time of the alleged incident.

"It played a role in showing there was no assault; the cameras did not show any assault, and any witnesses that were found, there was nobody that saw any asault occurr," Detective Spring said.

Jeremiah Bannister, the founder of Paleo Radio, where Smith contributes her blogs, says he stands firm by all of her previous reports.

"Because of the nature of what she's writing, the nature of the accusation against her is a real gotcha point; right, at least on the surface, its a gotcha moment, saying 'oh look, you're saying fraudulent this  and now the police are saying fraudulent that,' but...it would be wise and prudent to give her the benefit of the doubt and simply say innocent until proven guilty," he said.

Newschannel 3 also spoke with Chief Blocker over the phone Wednesday morning about the warrant.

He sent along a statement which read:

"I feel for Autumn, but that call and that night was a bridge too far. There's a lot of things that I tolerated during my process, a lot of perspectives I've heard, and often times I've felt compelled to hold my tongue. However, this had to be addressed."

At this point, Smith has not yet turned herself in.

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