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Four Louisiana cops acquitted in Black man’s death

A Louisiana State Police state trooper squad car along Canal Street in downtown New Orleans.

SHREVEPORT, La. (Transatlantic Today) — 4 city policemen were acquitted by a Louisiana court in the death of a Black man detained in April 2020. 

Prosecution failed to make their case against D’Marea Johnson, James LeClare, Brian Ross, and Treona McCarter, according to news reports from Caddo District Court Judge Chris Victory. 

Each had been accused of negligent homicide and malfeasance in office as a Shreveport police officer in the death of Tommie McGlothen. 

The right to a jury trial was waived by all 4 defendants. After the prosecution presented its case, defense attorneys requested that the judge rule without hearing any testimony from the defense. He did so after thinking about the case throughout the night. 

McGlothen’s family is pursuing a wrongful death claim in federal court against the city, according to their attorney. 

During the hearing, prosecution revealed that they presented the evidence to 2 grand juries, one of which found the cops guilty. 

Defense lawyers stated in their application for a directed acquittal that the United States Justice department and the Louisiana State Police both examined the case and neither forwarded it to prosecutors. 

McGlothen’s sister, LaQuita McGlothen, had called the cops the day her brother died, requesting that he be committed for mental health issues. She expressed her sadness to reporters. 

According to ABC NEWS, LaQuita McGlothen testified that she was concerned that her brother would be hurt since he had quit taking his medicines and was becoming increasingly delusional and paranoid. 

She and her father were advised that only people who were severely disabled, threatening others, suicidal, or homicidal might be committed. They advised her to contact them again if he became worse, and to contact the coroner’s office first thing in the morning as they have more commitment authorities. 

Officer Ross spotted a driver drag McGlothen from the rear seat of his pickup a short while later. According to the station, Ross was heard on a body camera indicating there was certainly something wrong with McGlothen. 

The driver chose not to file a police report. Officer McCarter, who had arrived to assist, was recorded on body cam indicating that he needs to be committed. 

McGlothen stopped a woman in a driveway and then walked inside her house less than 2 hours later. Her husband assaulted him and took out a gun to get him to leave, while his wife dialed 911. 

Authorities tried to handcuff McGlothen, but he fought back. After footage surfaced more than 2 months later showing police using a baton, chemical spray and a stun gun on him, the cops were placed on leave. 

He was declared dead at a hospital after being unresponsive for less than one hour. 

According to the family’s lawsuit, he was left unattended between his detention and death, which police denied.

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