Louisiana Family Wants Answers After Father Dies in Police Custody

Illustration for article titled Louisiana Family Wants Answers After Father Dies in Police Custody
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Tommie McGlothen’s family were suspicious when Shreveport, La., police told them that he had died of a heart attack while in police custody. Cellphone video released earlier this week proved that, unfortunately, their suspicions were right.


KSLA reports that cellphone video shows the 44- year- old McGlothen being beaten and tased by four Shreveport police officers on April 5.

From KSLA:

It appears that the elder McGlothen struggled with police and, after being handcuffed, was hit with a baton on his legs and was tased several times. On the video, you can hear what sound like screams from McGlothen.

It also appears that he was handcuffed when he was kicked or pushed to the ground from a standing position.

Witnesses say that when he was eventually put inside the police cruiser, he appeared slumped over and unconscious, KSLA notes.

The police were responding after McGlothen allegedly got into a fight with someone in the neighborhood. In April, Shreveport police told McGlothen’s family that he suffered a heart attack, but when the family went to view his body, they discovered he had a broken nose, broken jaw and the entire right side of his face was swollen.

Understandably, the family wants answers as to why Shreveport police didn’t publicly acknowledge McGlothen’s death and why they misled the family about the circumstances surrounding it.

“I just wanted to know what happened,” Tommy McGlothen III, McGlothen’s son, told KSLA. It took 54 days for the Shreveport Police Department to send an investigative report to District Attorney James Stewart. Even then, Stewart said the file was “missing reports, statements, downloads and other vital information essential to conduct a thorough and complete review.”


On Monday, Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond issued a statement saying that the four officers seen in the video have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is under investigation. It should be noted they were still on duty during the two months since the incident occurred. Louisiana State Police are also reviewing the case.

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So every Black family needs a contact list of good attorneys with a multi-faceted crew of hotshot researchers, forensic pathologists, PR folks with specialization in social justice org networks and social media expertise, and a huge network of family and friends ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice to even hope to know what actually happened to any loved ones...let alone dream of justice?!