Eight Louisiana police officers were indicted for using excessive force after a chase in January.
A grand jury returned bills of indictment of malfeasance in office against each office on Tuesday, June 30, according to a press release from the office of Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. The indicted officers were identified as Mark Ordoyne, Aaron Jaudon, Christopher McConnell, Brandon Walker, D’Andre Jackson, Treveion Brooks, David Francis and William Isenhour.
The incident occurred on the night of Jan. 24, after a Shreveport officer attempted to pull Chico Bell and Damon Robinson over for a seatbelt violation. The officer reportedly turned on his lights and siren but the car kept moving, according to dashcam footage reviewed by investigators. The SPD officer pursued the vehicle and other officers joined along the way. Bell, who was driving, threw several objects out of the car window during the chase, per the cruiser footage.
Dash camera footage from an assisting Caddo Parish Sheriff’s deputy showed Bell eventually stopped the car and both men raised their hands, which indicated they were trying to surrender without resistance. The mea culpa did no good, according to the DA’s office.
“SPD officers and one Caddo deputy approached the truck and SPD officers pulled Bell out the truck through the driver’s window,” the release stated. “While pulling Bell out through the window, SPD officers began striking, kicking, and tasing him to the torso and other areas of his body. According to medical records, Bell suffered injuries, including a broken orbital plate.”
“SPD officers then took Robinson to the ground, where one officer apparently struck him in the face with a flashlight, despite Robinson’s hands being behind his back. Robinson’s nose was broken in several places,” the release added.
An SPD officer struck Robinson through the window of the passenger seat while other officers restrained his hands. The sheriff’s deputy noted Robinson was cooperating during his arrest and his body and dash cameras corroborated his story. The deputy’s report on the arrests and bodycam and dashcam evidence led Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator to bring the incident to the attention of Caddo Parish District Attorney Stewart.
Bell and Robinson were both arrested. The items thrown from the vehicle were eventually recovered. They included a small amount of ecstasy, cocaine and a stolen firearm. Bell was charged with flight from an officer, drug possession, obstruction of justice, cyberstalking and additional offense described as a “fugitive matter.” Robinson received a resisting an officer charge. The charges have been dropped due to the force used during the arrest.
All eight of the officers are out on bond and have been placed on administrative leave. Shreveport Police Officers Association head Sgt. Michael Carter told KTBS the charges were a “surprise” to the officers and they are all in the process of hiring lawyers.
Police Chief Ben Raymond acknowledged the indictments but would not comment further.
“I was notified of the indictments of eight officers yesterday,” Raymond said in a statement to KTBS. “All parties are innocent until proven guilty and in order to preserve the officers rights to due process I will not make any further comments at this time.”