Category Archives: Use of Force

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Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal charged in inmate assault

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal and Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Savoy were charged today with civil rights violations in the April 29, 2011 beatings of five pre-trail detainees at the Iberia Parish Jail.

Ackal and Savoy are the most recent and highest ranking members of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office to be linked to the assault of the detainees in custody at the Iberia Parish Jail.  The incident started out as a contraband sweep of the jail and resulted in the detainees being taken to the jail chapel, an area where there is no video surveillance, and beaten by the officers with fists and batons. Continue reading

Two new guilty pleas in Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office abuse investigation

The latest in a string of guilty pleas related to a federal investigation into inmate beatings point to a continued pattern of abuse by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Since 2008 over 30 civil lawsuits have been filed against the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. Five inmates have died while in Sheriff’s Office custody. The lawsuits allege a variety of misconduct including excess force, sexual assault, improper medical care of inmates, and deaths.

Most recently, Jason Comeaux and David Hines have plead guilty in the investigation Monday, March 7th.

David Hines has admitted that on March 14, 2014 he was called by a Narcotics supervisor and ordered to report to the office of a ‘high ranking IPSO official.’ The official told Hines and another Narcotics agent that a man identified as R.T. was believed to have assaulted one of his elderly relatives. Hines and the other Narcotics agent were told to “take care of R.T.” by the official. They located R.T., who was hiding in the bathroom of an apartment. When R.T. left the bathroom at the officer’s instructions he was pinned to the ground. Hines and the Narcotics agents proceeded to strike him with their knees in his back and side several times and unnecessarily hit him with a baton in the back of the legs while he posed no threat to the officers and was restrained and compliant. Hines also admits to filing a false police report justifying the excessive use of force and purposefully not admitting that he and the other Narcotics agent beat R.T. unprovoked and at the instruction of the ‘high ranking IPSO official’.

Jason Comeaux, a deputy with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office since 2008, has plead guilty to being involved in the beating of Anthony Daye at the Iberia Parish Jail (IPJ) in April 2011. In his statement regarding the incident, Comeaux admits to being called to the IPJ to assist in a search for contraband. He was with a ‘high ranking IPSO official’ and another IPSO supervisor when they learned that Daye, a pre-trial detainee, had been causing trouble. The ‘official’ was angered and instructed Comeaux to “take care” of Anthony Daye. Comeaux and another Narcotics agent took Daye to the jail chapel. The chapel was known to be an area within the facility that did not have surveillance. Once inside the chapel, Comeaux and other Narcotics agents punched and assaulted Anthony Daye with their batons despite the fact that he was surrounded by officers, compliant, and not posing a threat to anyone. There were multiple officers, including the ‘high ranking IPSO official’ present. No one attempted to intervene or stop the assault. Comeaux further admitted that when he learned that Daye was suing for unjustified use of force he met with a senior IPSO employee and informed the employee that he had participated in beating Anthony Daye at the instruction of the ‘high ranking IPSO official’. The senior IPSO employee told Comeaux to “fix” his story and not to tell the representative of a state associate the truth about what happened to Daye. Comeaux and the other officers presented fabricated testimony for the depositions to cover up the beatings and prevent further investigation into their actions.

Comeaux is not the first officer to admit wrong doing involving the beating of Anthony Daye in the unmonitored jail chapel. There are a total of eight officers who have pled guilty to participating in abuse of inmates relating to the April 2011 contraband search. The ‘high ranking IPSO official’ has not been named, but has been in mentioned in multiple accounts regarding chapel beating.

In addition to these incidents, the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office has had its fair share of unwanted attention. The 2014 death of Victor White from a gunshot while in the back of a IPSO police car and the video of an inmate being attacked by an Iberia Parish corrections officer and police dog while lying on the ground are additional instances of alleged abuse and violations of the Sheriff’s office.

Two new guilty pleas in abuse investigation of Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office

The latest in a string of guilty pleas related to a federal investigation into inmate beatings point to a continued pattern of abuse by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Since 2008 over 30 civil lawsuits have been filed against the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.  Five inmates have died while in Sheriff’s Office custody.  The lawsuits allege a variety of misconduct including excess force, sexual assault, improper medical care of inmates, and deaths.

Most recently, Jason Comeaux and David Hines have plead guilty in the investigation Monday, March 7th.

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Lafayette Civil Rights Attorney

Two Marshals arrested in shooting investigation

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The head of Louisiana’s state police says two law enforcement officers have been arrested in the recent shooting death of a 6-year-old boy and his father’s wounding earlier this week.

Col. Mike Edmonson said at a late Friday news conference that the two officers are being booked on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the shooting in the central Louisiana town of Marksville.

Edmonson identified the two officers as Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford.

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jim craft - lafayette lawyer

Police Chief Jim Craft to deliver report on Tevin Lewis shooting during council meeting

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft will be delivering an update on the September officer-involved shooting of Tevin Lewis tonight during the regular meeting of the Lafayette City-Parish Council, chairman Kenneth Boudreaux said last week.

Community members called for the release of video footage allegedly capturing the shooting after it happened. The video was sent to the FBI in Quantico, Virginia, to be examined. According to police, early release of the video to the public was stopped by the district attorney’s office.

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crowley police - crowley lawyer

Response Filed to City of Crowley’s Motion for Summary Judgment

LAFAYETTE, LA, October 22, 2015 – A response filed to City of Crowley’s Motion for Summary Judgment in the matter of Clay Lejeune, et al vs. K.P. Gibson, et al provides details into the release of two videos which surfaced regarding the alleged home invasion and arrest of Crowley Attorney Clay Lejeune and his wife Mitzi Lejeune.

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L. Clayton Burgess, Personal Injury Attorney

Security Video Inside LPCC Filed in Federal Record

LAFAYETTE, LA, October 20, 2015 – A security video inside LPCC filed in Federal Record shows several inmates outside of their cells inside the Lafayette jail.

The First Amended and Supplemental Complaint for Damages filed in the matter entitled Steven Duplechain, III vs. Michael Neustrom, et al can be found by following the below link:

http://clayburgess.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Duplechain-Vs.-Neustrom-First-Amended-Complaint.pdf

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L. Clayton Burgess, Personal Injury Attorney

Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess settles brutality suit for $400K against Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office paid $400,000 to settle a federal lawsuit for the 2014 alleged beating of an inmate, according to a settlement agreement obtained by KATC Investigates.

Jason Brungardt, 41, of Lafayette, filed the suit last year after he said two former deputies — Brandon Gallien, 29 of Opelousas, and Michael McSheffrey, 35 of Lafayette — beat and pepper sprayed him in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in April 2014. He also alleged  two other former deputies, Adrian Theriot and Scarla Celestine, knew about the beating but did nothing. Continue reading

Pubic Record

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF; LAFAYETTE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT REGARDING JAIL SAFETY AND CONDITIONS

LAFAYETTE, LA, September 28, 2015 – A Complaint for Damages has been filed against Lafayette Parish Sheriff Michael W. Neustrom, Lafayette Consolidated Government President Joey Durel and others in U.S. District Court – Western District of Louisiana by the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess on behalf of Steven Duplechain, III.

The petition lodged September 28, 2015 list Sheriff Michael W. Neustrom; Director of Corrections Rob Reardon; Lafayette Consolidated Government; Parish President Joey Durel; two Deputies Hannah Girrens and Kanan Daigle; and three civilians Angela Darby, Tre’vin Bob and Deangelo Celestine as defendants. Continue reading