A Houston man has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Shreveport, La., and several police officers who he alleges falsely arrested and brutalized him, including sodomizing him with a nightstick while he was in the back of a patrol car, the Shreveport Times reports.
According to the lawsuit, Desmond Lewis was walking away from Walgreens Pharmacy on the evening of July 12, 2014, when he was approached by two police officers (identified in the lawsuit as Officer Bordelon and Officer Owen) in a patrol car.
They were allegedly in the area responding to a burglary call and demanded that Lewis come toward the vehicle.
Lewis alleges that he ran away out of fear and that Bordelon and Owen, along with a third officer identified in the lawsuit as Officer Hayes, chased him "without cause." Once they caught up to him, they allegedly took him down with a "straight-arm bar tactic" and handcuffed him.
According to the lawsuit, the officers admitted that Lewis was not the suspect they were looking for in the area. Still, they allegedly insisted that he must be arrested for something, since they had used force in apprehending and detaining him.
It got even worse from there.
After pushing Lewis face-first into a patrol car, Officer Bordelon allegedly punched Lewis several times in the face without provocation and beat him across the legs with his nightstick. It was then that Bordelon is reported to have sodomized Lewis, who was then facedown in the patrol car.
Lewis was allegedly bleeding so profusely through his shorts that after he received medical attention from paramedics with the Shreveport Fire Department, they recommended that he be transported by ambulance to the Louisiana State University hospital for "required treatment."
Despite allegedly being brutalized, Lewis was charged with resisting arrest and battery of a police officer. Though the charges were subsquently dismissed, he spent 40 days in jail before he was released.
Lewis, who suffered "physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability and loss of normal life," claims that the officers violated his Fourth Amendment (which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires that any warrant be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause) and 14th Amendment (which requires that all born and naturalized U.S. citizens have equal protection under the law, including freed slaves and their descendants) rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Lewis is seeking damages on all that are allowed by law, including compensatory and punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees, and a trial by jury on all issues that are triable.
The Root reached out several times to the Shreveport Police Department for comment. Calls have not been returned at this time.
Read the full lawsuit—Desmond Lewis v. City of Shreveport—here.