Mayor, police chief react to indictment of 8 SPD officers in excessive force case

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The mayor of Shreveport and its police chief both released statements Tuesday after the Caddo Parish District Attorney confirmed the indictment of eight officers in connection with a January traffic stop in which two men suffered serious injuries at the hands of officers who were taking them into custody.

A Caddo Parish Grand Jury on Monday returned the indictment against Aaron Jaudon, D’Andre Jackson, Mark Ordoyne, William Isenhour, Christopher McConnell, Brandon Walker, Treveion Brooks, and David Francis. Each officer is charged with one count of malfeasance in office.

According to the DA’s office, the charges stem from an incident on January 24 that started when officers attempted to stop a truck in the 700 block of Central Street in Shreveport and ended with the arrests of the driver and passenger on multiple charges. But the DA’s office said dashcam revealed excessive use of force that resulted in both men being injured even though neither was resisting, resulting in the district attorney’s decision to dismiss all of the charges against them.

SPD dash cameras show that police officers attempted to engage the driver, Chico Bell, and his passenger, Damon Robinson, as the men’s vehicle left a private residence. The officer turned on his lights and siren, intending to stop Bell and Robinson for seat belt violations,  but Bell and Robinson drove on. A pursuit began and other officers joined the chase with police vehicle video showing that Bell threw several unknown objects from the window of his Chevrolet truck during the chase.

A Caddo Parish Sheriff’s deputy assisted with the pursuit; his dash cam indicated the vehicle came to a stop on Linwood Avenue. Dash cameras show that after stopping, Bell and Robinson raised their hands, and then stuck both hands up out of the windows of the truck, in an apparent attempt to surrender without resistance. SPD officers and one Caddo deputy approached the truck and SPD officers pulled Bell out the truck through the driver’s window. 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.

An SPD officer punched the passenger, Robinson, multiple times through the open truck window, while Robinson’s hands were being held by other officers. 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 Caddo deputy noted that Robinson was compliant during the police encounter and offered no resistance. The Caddo deputy’s body and dash camera video confirmed his assessment.

SPD officers reported that they recovered items thrown from the vehicle: very small amounts of ecstasy, cocaine and a stolen gun that was found the next day along the route of the chase. Police arrested Bell for flight from an officer, possession of Schedule I controlled dangerous substances, possession of Schedule II controlled dangerous substances, obstruction of justice, cyberstalking and a fugitive matter. Police arrested Robinson for resisting an officer.

The District Attorney’s office has dismissed all charges arising from the January 24, 2020, incident due to unnecessary excessive force being used by SPD officers to make the arrest.

Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator notified District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. of his concerns based on the Caddo deputy’s report, dash and body cam evidence and the excessive force being used during the stop. SPD tendered its investigation of the officers’ actions on March 6, 2020. The Louisiana governor’s stay-at-home order for COVID-19 took effect March 23, 2020, which paused the District Attorney’s review until Phase 1 of the stay-at-home order was complete. The DA’s office interviewed the victims June 5, 2020, and obtained complete medical reports on June 15, 2020. The DA’s office completed its review and investigation of the matter and then placed it before the grand jury.

Statement released Tuesday by Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office

Both Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond released statements shortly after the indictments were announced late Tuesday morning.

“The incident in question occurred on January 24, 2020, and an investigation was launched that day,” Raymond said. “On March 6, 2020, detectives delivered their investigative packet to the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office for review. I was notified of the indictments of eight officers yesterday. 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.”

“The nation is going through a reckoning because, in the past, officers were too infrequently held accountable for bad policing,” Perkins said. “While it isn’t pretty, this is the change citizens are demanding. My administration has identified funding for body cameras and expects to have them by the end of the summer. We are also analyzing existing funds to start a crisis intervention program that will allow counselors to help address emergency mental health calls. Reform takes work, but I am committed to that work.”

According to the DA’s office, seven other indictments for murder and associated crimes also were returned by the Grand Jury on Monday, including the indictment of 38-year-old Gregory Earl Jones, charged with the February 16, 2020, second-degree murder of Tasha Mayberry, and with two counts of aggravated assault Upon a Peace Officer. Tristan Mayberry, 28, is also charged with accessory after-the-fact to second-degree murder in that case.

Also indicted were:

  • Rotrick Deon Ivory, 30, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the May 8, 2018, slaying of Michael Smith, and aggravated battery.
  • Traveon Cannon, 20, and Kasey Howard, 22, are charged with second-degree murder in connection with the February 5, 2020, slaying of Jaderris Montreal Taylor.
  • Daniel Haire, 24, is charged with the February 2020 slaying of Rodney Nordby, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
  • Dillon Brown, 28, is charged with accessory after-the-fact in connection with the Nordby slaying, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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