Details of July 2019 incident that led to LSP excessive force arrest
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - KNOE has obtained the affidavits related to two of the four Louisiana State Troopers that were arrested this week as part of an excessive force investigation.
Troopers Randall Dickerson and Jacob Brown face charges in connection with an incident that happened on July 16, 2019, on Interstate 20 in Ouachita Parish.
According to court papers, Senior Trooper Justin Morris observed a Black Mercedes SUV driving erratically on I-20. Morris proceeded to pull the driver over near the 100 mile marker.
Morris stated the driver, Morgan Blake, was acting nervous and asked Blake if he could search his vehicle.
After Blake declined, Morris requested Brown, a Narcotics K-9 officer, to the scene. Troopers William Martin and Dickerson arrived to assist shortly after.
During the search with the K-9, Morris located 13 pounds of marijuana within six vacuum-sealed bags concealed inside a locked compartment in the cargo area of the car.
As Morris, Martin, and Dickerson continued the search, Brown handcuffed Blake and stood him next to the front passenger side of an LSP unit.
At that point, Blake began complaining saying his wrist was hurting from a prior injury and asked Brown to turn his hand around inside the handcuff. Brown refused and walked Blake to the rear passenger side door of an LSP unit.
Blake continued complaining, but Brown responded saying, “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care.” As Blake attempted to move the handcuff strap off of his wrist bone, Brown told him to stop. Blake responded, “Dude, my elbow!”
Blake while still handcuffed, was pushed into the LSP unit and thrown to the ground by Brown. Blake started yelling for help, and Dickerson and Martin immediately responded to assist Brown. Upon making contact, Martin’s body camera fell to the ground and only recorded a very limited portion of the event. However, it did capture Martin holding Blake down with his hands. Dickerson turned his camera off before he made contact.
Although Dickerson’s camera was off, a separate camera belonging to another Trooper captured Dickerson punching Blake with a closed first five times towards his head and kneeing him in the body. According to investigators, at no time during the video review did they observe Blake kicking or resisting in any manner.
While still on the scene, Brown told Martin and Morris his version of events that led to him throwing Blake on the ground. Brown’s explanation was recorded on his own body camera. He stated to Martin that Blake’s right handcuff was not on. He then said Blake was attempting to get out of his right handcuff and get away. Brown then met with Morris and continued to explain what happened. Brown described Blake as “squirmy” and said he was trying to run.
After reviewing body camera footage, investigators determined there were untruthful statements given regarding the alleged resistance by Blake and that he was not attempting to remove his hands from secured, closed handcuffs. Nor did it appear that he was attempting to escape from Brown’s custody. He was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries and later booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center.
According to court documents, Blake eventually pleaded guilty to all charges from his arrest that day including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, resisting arrest, aggravated battery and improper lane use. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and transferred to California.
Brown is also tied to a case from May 2019. He was charged with aggravated second-degree battery and malfeasance in office in December 2020 after a Black man claimed Brown beat him during a traffic stop in front of his home.
Dakota DeMoss and George Harper are the other two troopers who were arrested this week. They, along with Brown, were involved in another incident that happened in Franklin Parish in May 2020.
DeMoss is also tied to a separate case that happened in May 2019. He was one of several troopers named in the Ronald Greene investigation. Greene was a Black man that died in police custody after a chase that happened almost two years ago.
KNOE has submitted a request to obtain all documents, video and audio recordings related to these incidents.
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