Eight Shreveport police officers have been indicted in the beating of two men in January who had surrendered with their hands in the air.
Each officer was charged with malfeasance in office, and was booked into the local jail and released on bond.
Prosecutors said the officers broke one man's orbital bone and another man's nose in the beating, and punched, kicked, and tased the men.
A Louisiana grand jury has indicted eight police officers, alleging that they brutally beat two men who had surrendered with their hands in the air.
Each officer was charged with a count of malfeasance in office over the beating that left one victim with a broken orbital plate and another with a broken nose.
The violent arrest began January 24 with an attempted traffic stop. One Shreveport officer tried to pull over the men, Chico Bell and Damon Robinson, for seatbelt violations, according to a statement from the Caddo Parish District Attorney.
But the men ignored the officer's attempt and continued driving, and dashboard cameras showed that Bell, who was driving the car, threw several items out his truck's window during the chase, prosecutors said.
When Bell and Robinson eventually stopped the truck, both "raised their hands, and then stuck both hands up out of the windows of the truck, in an apparent attempt to surrender without resistance," prosecutors said.
Officers immediately approached the truck and pulled Bell out through the driver-side window, "striking, kicking, and tasing him to the torso and other areas of his body," prosecutors said.
Officers on the other side of the truck reached through the passenger-side window to hold down Robinson's arms, while another officer began punching Robinson repeatedly, prosecutors said. When they removed Robinson from the truck, still holding his hands behind his back, an officer hit him in the face with a flashlight, according to prosecutors.
A Caddo Parish deputy who assisted in the police chase and observed the alleged beating told prosecutors Robinson was "compliant during the police encounter and offered no resistance."
Prosecutors dismissed all charges against Bell and Robinson because of the officers' 'unnecessary excessive force'
Initially, police arrested Bell on charges of flight from an officer, drug possession, obstruction of justice, cyberstalking, and "a fugitive matter," and arrested Robinson on charges of resisting an officer. The Caddo Parish District Attorney's office said all charges against the men were dismissed "due to unnecessary excessive force being used by SPD officers to make the arrest."
The eight Shreveport officers were identified as Aaron Jaudron, D'Andre Jackson, Mark Ordoyne, William Isenhour, Christopher McConnell, Brandon Walker, Treveion Brooks, and David Francis.
Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart Sr. said in a Zoom press conference that the officers were booked into the local jail and released on bond.
Lawyers representing the officers have indicated they intend to fight the charges in court.
"These officers were doing their job that day, but we look forward to litigating this case in the courtroom," J. Dhu Thompson, who is representing three of the officers, told the local NBC affiliate KTAL.
"These officers were put in [a] dangerous situation created by those who chose to engage in criminal activity in a high-speed chase," a lawyer for Jackson told The New York Times.
The Shreveport Police Chief, Ben Raymond, told media in a statement that the police department had conducted an investigation of the incident and delivered it to prosecutors on March 6. He did not detail the contents of the investigation, but said: "in order to preserve the officers' rights to due process I will not be making any further comments at this time."
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