At this point, it’s pretty clear that cops are by and large, pretty trash. Eight cops in Louisiana have only reinforced that assertion after allegedly beating two men over a seatbelt violation.
NBC News reports that the eight cops from the Shreveport Police Department involved in the incident have been indicted on charges of excessive force. The two victims, driver Chico Bell and passenger Damon Robinson, had their hands up when the eight officers allegedly began to beat them. Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart announced that each of the officers involved has been charged with one count of malfeasance in office.
The incident occurred on Jan. 24 when an officer attempted to pull the men over for a seat belt violation as they were leaving a home. The men didn’t initially stop and a dash cam video shows objects being thrown out of their vehicle. Eventually, the men pulled over and stuck their hands out of the window in a gesture of surrendering. It was at this point that the police officers pulled Bell out of the car through the window and “began striking, kicking, and tasing him,” according to a press release from the District Attorney. According to the release, medical records show that Bell’s injuries included a broken orbital plate.
From NBC News:
Robinson was meanwhile “punched multiple times through the open truck window” by one Shreveport officer as his “hands were being held by other officers,” the district attorney said.
“SPD officers then took Robinson to the ground, where one officer apparently struck him in the face with a flashlight, despite Robinson’s hands being behind his back,” the release said. Robinson’s nose was broken “in several places” from the attack.
A sheriff’s deputy at the scene said the violence occurred even though Robinson’s was compliant during the arrest, which police body- and dash-cam footage verified, the district attorney said.
Mark Ordoyne, Aaron Jaudon, David Francis. D’Andre Jackson, Christopher McConnell, Brandon Walker, William Isenhour, and Treveion Brooks are the eight officers who were indicted. McConnell was fired on May 8, Ordoyne resigned on Jun. 17, and the other six officers have been placed on leave.
Stewart said that “very small amounts of ecstasy, cocaine and a stolen gun,” were among the items that Bell and Robinson threw from the car window. Bell’s charges included possession of controlled substances, obstruction of justice, cyberstalking, and a fugitive matter. Robinson was arrested for resisting an officer. The district attorney threw out the charges for both men as a result of the excessive force used.
Ben Raymond, the Shreveport police chief, said that he launched an investigation immediately after the incident took place. “All parties are innocent until proven guilty and in order to preserve the officers rights to due process I will not make any further comments at this time,” Raymond said in a news conference. Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins released a statement indicating that the city is working towards police reform.
“The nation is going through a reckoning because, in the past, officers were too infrequently held accountable for bad policing. While it isn’t pretty, this is the change citizens are demanding. My administration has identified funding for body cameras and expects to have them by the end of the summer. We are also analyzing existing funds to start a crisis intervention program that will allow counselors to help address emergency mental health calls. Reform takes work, but I am committed to that work.” Perkins told KTAL.