Former Louisiana State Police trooper indicted on civil rights charge
The KNOE video report originally aired on Aug. 25, 2021, right after the release of body camera footage showing the encounter. It shows and describes the events that occurred during the encounter.
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A former Louisiana State Police trooper accused of using excessive force has now been indicted by a federal grand jury and stands formally charged with violating a Monroe man’s civil rights.
Jacob Brown, 31, is charged with a single count of deprivation of rights under color of law, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Sept. 23, 2021. The indictment was handed up Thursday by a federal grand jury in Shreveport, according to the announcement from Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander Van Hook of the Western District of Louisiana and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
This is just the latest charge for Brown, who was arrested with three other state troopers from the Monroe area’s Troop F back in February 2021. Brown’s other charges include simple battery, malfeasance in office, and obstruction of justice.
The federal indictment alleges Brown assaulted and severely injured Aaron Bowman (identified in the indictment only as A.B.) after a traffic stop in Monroe on May 30, 2019. Body camera video appears to show Brown repeatedly hitting Bowman in the head and body with a flashlight modified with a metal tactical cap designed for breaking glass. State police didn’t investigate the attack until nearly 2 years later and only after a lawsuit was filed.
Bowman’s attorney, Donecia Banks-Miley, says Bowman cried tears of joy upon hearing about the federal indictment. But she says this is just the first step towards justice.
“The FBI gave me the initial call. Hey, I’m grateful for this, but what are we doing going forward? What about the officers and those who covered it up and those who did nothing.”
Officials say Brown faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted on the civil rights charge. However, Brown’s prospect of lengthy prison time does not end there.
Brown is still facing a slew of criminal charges in connection with traffic stops in 2019 and 2020. According to the Associated Press, records show he tallied 23 uses of force dating to 2015. Black people accounted for 19, the AP said. He has been charged in three of the cases and was arrested in December of 2020. He resigned the following March.
“Along with our partners, the FBI will aggressively investigate allegations such as those against former trooper Jacob Brown, wherein law enforcement officers abuse their position of power and authority,” said FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge, Douglas A. Williams, Jr. “We thank our partners at the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Louisiana and Department of Justice Civil Rights Division for their strong partnership and unrelenting pursuit of justice.”
Furthermore, it states, “the United States Attorney’s Office has previously acknowledged that it has open and ongoing criminal investigations into incidents involving Louisiana State Police that resulted in death or bodily injury to arrestees. Those investigations remain ongoing. This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Luke Walker of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Katherine G. DeVar of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.”
Brown’s arrest is part of an alleged series of wrong-doings by Louisiana State Police, according to the Associated Press.
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