OPELOUSAS, La. – (KLFY) An Opelousas Police officer is facing charges for violating his oath and allegedly attacking a teen without a just cause.
Sergeant Tyron Andrepont (49) turned himself in Tuesday morning according to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Andrepont has been on paid administrative leave since mid-November while Louisiana State Police investigated the accusation of excessive force.
The inciting incident occurred in October, but because of the investigation as well as the coronavirus, charges emerged on June 9.
The narrative is all too familiar with the United States of America. It is an investigation into excessive force caught on video against a minority.
Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon is filing an additional investigation through internal affairs looking into Andrepont’s conduct and whether he violated OPD’s procedures.
“Police officers need to do their jobs in the prescribed manner,” explained McLendon. “This badge has been tarnished across America.”
The police chief would not comment on his opinion of the evidence against his officer on leave, but said, “Opelousas stands in solidarity with the people who are saying enough is enough.”
Sergeant Tyron Andrepont faces five felony charges of malfeasance for “Intentionally using force or violence” “Without consent or justification.”
St. Landry Parish District Attorney Charles Cravins told News 10, “He is a public employee and violated, in our opinion and the facts show, an oath that he took to uphold the law.”
According to a public bill of information, Jonah Coleman Jr. was an Opelousas General Hospital patient who was battered in the face, throat, right leg, and right arm by Andrepont.
“The manner in which this officer treated this young man, it reminds you of a playground bully,” expressed civil rights attorney Daryl K. Washington, who is representing Coleman.
Washington said his client was at the hospital for non-criminal reasons, and what happened at the hospital was a result of the staff’s overreaction and an officer taking advantage of Coleman. Now other people in Opelousas are sharing similar encounters they’ve had with police with Washington.
“This seems to me that this officer was simply out of control and, honestly, as much as I hate this happening to Jonah, thank God, man, that he isn’t another statistic, or thank God some other innocent person in Opelousas is not a statistic based on this officer,” stated Washington.
With the state police investigation concluded, Chief McLendon is launching an internal affairs investigation to make sure Andrepont did not act above the law, saying all officers should be held to a higher standard.
“We want to restore that confidence in this badge and let people that we are standing with them,” said McLendon. “We are not against the public. We took an oath of office, and we are sworn to serve these people and protect them.”
That state police investigation as well as the video of the incident is something we are trying to get a hold of. According to Chief McLendon that decision will be made Wednesday.