Monroe-area state trooper resigns following multiple arrests involving excessive force
BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE/WAFB) - According to Louisiana State Police, Trooper Jacob Brown has resigned after accusations that he used excessive force on a man after a 2019 traffic stop in Monroe. Officials have confirmed the trooper’s resignation was effective as of the close of the business day on March 10, 2021. He served as part of Troop F in Northeast Louisiana.
An investigation into Jacob Brown began in October of 2020 after a civil lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit alleges that the victim, Aaron Bowman, was pulled from his vehicle after a traffic stop on May 30, 2019, outside of 1500 South 3rd Street. The victim alleges that he was beaten by multiple law enforcement officers and suffered multiple injuries as a result of the encounter, including broken ribs, a fractured arm, and a laceration to his head.
Brown was arrested in December 2020 after his alleged actions were discovered, state police said. LSP investigators determined that Brown’s use of force was unreasonable, saying he struck Bowman 18 times within approximately 24 seconds. The investigation determined he muted the audio on his bodycam and called into question the labeling of his footage. He was charged with aggravated second-degree battery and malfeasance in office.
During a Dec. 14 press conference in Baton Rouge, the legal team representing Bowman commended LSP Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis for charging Brown but said they were disappointed the arrest didn’t come until 19 months later. Aaron Bowman also talked publically about the incident, describing the trauma he’s suffered as a result of it.
“Every time I got ready to speak, he would hit me with the flashlight,” said Bowman. Through tears, Bowman cried out for justice at the steps of the state capital saying what happened to him that night changed him. “It tears me down when I talk about it,” he said. “It’s like I’m reliving that moment again, you know, and I still have sharp pains in my head from that.”
Documents detailing the LSP investigation into Trooper Brown say Brown arrived on the scene while the encounter was already in progress. Documents state that Brown struck Bowman a total of 18 times within approximately 24 seconds of contact and Brown muted his audio on the camera. Bowman was not arrested at the time. A warrant was obtained several days later and the victim was later arrested on charges of improper lane usage, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer, and battery of an officer.
Lawyer: Bowman Incident Part of a Pattern
Bowman’s legal team alleges the incidents involving their client and other Black men indicate there is a pattern of “brutality” within LSP’s Troop F, which has jurisdiction in the Monroe area.
Four Troop F troopers were arrested in February 2021 after allegations of more wrongdoing came to light. According to LSP, investigators filed charges following an extensive review of encounters in the Monroe area. Among the four was Trooper Brown, who was arrested again.
Investigators say Troopers Brown, Dakota DeMoss, and George Harper, were involved in an incident that happened in Franklin Parish in May 2020. Brown and Trooper Randall Dickerson were charged in connection with an alleged July 2019 beating on Interstate 20 in Ouachita Parish.
DeMoss is also tied to a separate case that happened in May 2019. He is also one of several troopers named in the Ronald Greene investigation. Greene was a Black man that died in police custody after a police chase that started in Monroe and ended in Union Parish.
Greene’s death was initially blamed on injuries sustained from a car crash at the end of a chase, but audio, made public over a year later, shed new light on the case. In the audio, Trooper Chris Hollingsworth can be heard saying, “I beat the ever-living f--- out of him.” He then goes on to describe more of the event in the audio clip, which you can listen to by clicking here. Hollingsworth died after a single-car crash in Sept. 2020 after learning he was going to be being fired for his role in the incident.
Greene’s family members, who were permitted to watch the unreleased bodycam footage from his encounter with police, say they were shocked by what they saw, which they described as a violent beating that went on for four minutes.
Attorney Lee Merrit said officers were laughing and mocking Greene the whole time. Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, said she can’t find peace even after watching the entire video, calling it “horrific.” They further described what they saw in an interview with the media. The video is now the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.
“A Trust Has Been Broken”
Following the arrests, one Monroe-area leader said the charges against these officers are a set-back for the area.
“We see that a trust has been broken because the people, as we speak, believed in the state troopers because they are the elite of the elite,” said Ambrose Douzart, President of the Ouachita Parish Branch of the NAACP. He said it’s time to “see what their training is and what’s actually happening,”
Victims of excessive force should report misconduct immediately, according to Alana Odoms, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana. You only have one year to file a complaint in Louisiana.
“It’s a huge barrier to individuals bringing forward these types of claims. Of the several hundred complaints we’ve received, more than half of them fall outside the statute of limitations because people just don’t know,” Odoms said.
KNOE has submitted a request to obtain all documents, video and audio recordings related to these incidents.
Original reporting by KNOE’s Perry Robinson, KNOE’s Alexis Ballamy, WAFB’s Scottie Hunter and WAFB’s Kevin Foster was used in this report. Gray Television owns and operates WAFB in Baton Rouge and KNOE in Monroe.
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