Attorneys respond after DA clears Winnfield officer of excessive force

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

WINNFIELD, La. (KNOE) - The Winn Parish District Attorney Chris Nevils has exonerated Winnfield Police Officer Justin Curry, relieving him of any criminal responsibility from injuries sustained by Tanisha White on the night of November 5, 2018.

Police officials say Curry, who was accused of tasing White, does not carry a taser, and simply pepper-sprayed the woman when she tried to resist arrest.

Officials say she then fell face-first onto a concrete driveway, severely injuring her eye and face.

After news of the decision broke, attorneys for Tanisha White released the following statement:

"On March 29th, our Law Offices received a copy of the District Attorney’s file regarding the November 5, 2018 incident where, our client, Ms. Tanisha White lost her eyesight after an encounter with Winnfield Police Officer Justin Curry. Though we appreciate, District Attorney Nevils keeping his promise to disclose the file to us, we believe that the information provided more questions that than gives answers. Conclusive answers.

"Specifically, why was ANY use of force necessary when Ms. White was not charged with a crime? How does this same encounter with the police leave Ms. White blind in one eye when she was not charged with a crime? How is the loss of an eye after an encounter with the police not be deemed excessive? Though the report indicates that Ms. White’s damage to her eye was caused by her falling face first to the concrete, the pictures of Ms. White taken immediately after the incident are not consistent with that explanation.

"There is also the issue pertaining to the taser. According to the report, Officer Curry did not use a taser that evening, instead he used a JPX pepper spray gun. Why would law enforcement officials wait four and a half months to dispel the notion that at taser was used? Furthermore, if in fact a JPX pepper spray gun was used, our initial research shows that getting fired upon with the JPX in close quarters (5 feet or less) can be devastating given that it discharges at a rate of 400 miles per hour, even more so if aimed towards a person’s face.

"Although Ms. White is disappointed with the conclusions reached by the District Attorney’s Office, we will continue to be diligent in our investigation of this matter and will proceed forward with a civil claim on behalf of our client."

To read the statement from the Winnfield Police Department, click here.