A Louisiana District Court judge has acquitted four city police officers in the death of 44-year-old Tommie McGlothen, NBC News reports. In 2020, Shreveport officers Brian Ross, D’Marea Johnson, Treona McCarter, and James LeClare were charged with negligent homicide and malfeasance in connection with his death.
McGlothen’s family wanted answers after police told them he had died of a heart attack. The body cam footage showed McGlothen being both tased and beaten. He also had a broken nose, broken jaw, and the entire right side of his face was swollen. McGloten had a history of mental health issues, and there were two previous encounters with police earlier on the day of his death. Caddo District Court Judge Chris Victory stated in his ruling that the prosecution failed to prove its case against each officer.
“I am heart broken by the decision and I am very disappointed by this decision. Because for me, not only have I lost my brother, but I’ve lost my sense of community. Those that are placed in a position to serve and protect, I no longer have trust in them at all,” said LaQuita McGlothen, Tommie McGlothen’s younger sister after the verdict was announced.
McGlothen’s son, Tommie McGlothen III, also stated his disappointment with the verdict and is appalled there will be no discipline. On Thursday, as ABC KTBS notes, an expert witness hired from out of state testified the officers violated the use of policy procedures in their handling of McGlothen.
We are very disappointed. I mean, you know, for our justice system to let a man die unresponsive in the back of a police car and walk away free and not being disciplined for it. So, I just feel like it set the bar higher for more corruption here in Shreveport.”
McGlothen family attorney James Carter stated that the family will go forward in filing a wrongful death suit and that the fight for justice isn’t over. After prosecutors presented their case, defense lawyers asked for judge Victory to rule without hearing defense testimony.
“We will continue our pursuit of justice in this matter. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The entire community in northern Louisiana and the nation should be concerned that you can have a situation where a ruling comes forth with overwhelming evidence of the abuse and ultimate death of a disabled, a mentally disabled person whose family was simply seeking help and it ended up in his untimely death,”