In the wake of Bowman video release, ACLU of Louisiana calls for change at State Police

Crime

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Federal authorities have released the video of a white state trooper viciously beating Aaron Bowman, a black man, after a traffic stop.

The beating was in 2019, just three weeks after the state police beating death of Ronald Greene.

Alanah Odums of the ACLU of Louisiana pointed out the similarities of yet another black motorist beaten in 2019 at the hands of the Louisiana State Police.

According to Odums, “This video was not released for two years, more than two years. This is exactly the same situation that happened in the Ronald Greene case and we are all familiar with that because we just finished having that conversation. The same troop, Troop F of the LSP and particular in this case Trooper Brown was involved in both incidents.”

Brown was arrested and charged with second-degree battery and malfeasance in office after it was determined that he misled the agency by mislabeling the footage as a citizen encounter. He resigned from the department.

As a result of the beating, motorist Aaron Bowman, suffered 3 broken ribs, a broken jaw, broken wrist and a serious cut to the head.

Here’s what Bowman told the Associated Press:

“I kept thinking I was going to die that night because all I could do was breath. I tried to keep myself from going out because he had my face smashed down in a puddle of water,” said Bowman.

Bowman has filed a civil lawsuit. As for the state police, they sent us this statement:

Upon receiving a civil lawsuit alleging excessive force by an unnamed Trooper, LSP began immediately working to identify the details of the incident. A detailed search of body camera video revealed the incident was intentionally mislabeled and Brown was involved as he assisted the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office with the arrest of a suspect. As the investigation continued, Detectives concluded that Brown engaged in excessive and unjustifiable actions and failed to report the use of force to his supervisors. LSP detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Brown and placed him into custody.

Over the last nine months, our agency has carefully evaluated and examined our processes and operational practices, which led to fundamental improvements to our operations, training, and administration. These reforms have led to additional administrative and criminal investigations, ensured the implementation of critical changes throughout the department, and continued the process of building trust within the communities we serve.

The ACLU says more needs to be done to correct the culture at the agency.

“There are individuals that are clearly bad apples but I think what we also see is that this is not just bad apples but also a rotten tree that where there are many many instances of violence and brutality that are perpetuated throughout the organization,” said Odums.

What has also drawn fire from critics is former trooper Brown’s description of the beating as ‘pain compliance, after alleging that Bowman struck an officer.

The DOJ is investigating this case and the Ouachita Parish District Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Brown. That office also charged Bowman with battery of a police officer, resisting an officer, and a traffic violation. Those charges are still pending.

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