Louisiana is facing an epidemic of police violence and brutality that mostly affects people of color. Recently, there have been accusations of police abuse in cases involving Ronald Greene and Aaron Larry Bowman. Now, sheriff’s deputies face accusations of abusing a Black man in Louisiana.
Police arrested Jarius Brown, a 27-year-old, in 2019 for a car theft. During the arrest, the sheriff’s deputies allegedly bruised and beat him so hard that they broke his nose and eye socket during the booking process.
The ACLU is getting involved in Louisiana.
Now, the ACLU of Louisiana has joined the efforts. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against former deputy jailer Javaerrea Pouncy. In doing so, the ACLU is challenging Louisiana’s statute of limitation that bars any lawsuit against law enforcement officials after one year.
Law enforcement officials in Louisiana have faced decades of allegations of police violence and brutality. Brown’s account of the beating “is consistent with an extensive history of violence and police brutality committed by members of Louisiana law enforcement,” an ACLU official said.
This is the 22nd lawsuit by the ACLU of Louisiana as part of the ACLU’s Justice Lab campaign. Between 2013 and 2020, the ACLU’s research shows that there were about 400 cases of police brutality in the state. The data also confirms a pattern of racial disparity in police killings.
The lawsuit comes amid reports of hiding bodycam footage.
The ACLU lawsuit comes shortly after an article showing a series of Associated Press reports on a decade-long pattern of state troopers hiding videos and other information about police violence. A federal investigation and AP news’ review showed that the troopers deliberately turned off or muted the body cameras. In fact, in some cases, troopers justified their acts by claiming suspects as violent or escaping from custody.
Being arrested or pulled over by police can be terrifying. But, during and after an arrest, constitutional rights protect you. Asserting these rights can help you in court if police violate them and may protect you from police brutality.