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Federal civil rights charge filed against former Louisiana State Police trooper who beat a Black man

Federal charges have been filed against a former Louisiana State Police trooper for an assault with a flashlight on a Black motorist, the United States Department of Justice announced on Thursday (September 23). Ex-cop Jacob Brown has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Shreveport, Louisiana on one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for assaulting 46-year-old Aaron Larry Bowman back in 2019.

It is alleged that Brown, who is white, repeatedly struck Bowman with his flashlight, which was equipped with a metal tactical cap designed for breaking glass, multiple times. As evidenced by the body-worn camera, Brown was caught beating Bowman with a flashlight while the man shouted, “I am not resisting!” on May 30, 2019. “I won’t be resisting! ” The beating resulted in Bowman suffering a broken jaw, three broken ribs, a broken wrist and a head wound requiring six staples.

“Specifically, Brown repeatedly hit Bowman with a flashlight using a tactical cap without any legal justification,” according to the indictment.

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that an investigation revealed Brown had damaged his body camera intentionally by mislabelling it and failing to report his use of force.

State authorities investigated the incident almost two years after Bowman filed a civil suit against the police department. But an internal investigation was delayed because of this, and it wasn’t until then that Bowman filed a civil suit.

Ron Haley, Bowman’s attorney, told CNN on Wednesday that he’s pleased that the two-year fight to hold Brown accountable for what happened to Aaron appears to be moving forward. “Two years for such an obvious demonstration of abuse ought not to have taken so long, but justice will prevail eventually.”

Upon conviction, Brown could receive a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Ex-cop Bowman also faces state criminal charges, including assault in the second degree and misfeasance in office related to his use of unreasonable force while arresting Bowman and two other Black motorists.

As an officer, Brown has been involved in 23 use-of-force incidents, almost all against black people, according to records obtained by the Associated Press. During the month of December, he was arrested and resigned from the police department.

This article was penned by Jonathan P. Wright. Jonathan is a freelance writer for multiple mainstream publications and CVO of RADIOPUSHERS. You can read more of his work by clicking here.  

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