Aug 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Video shows Louisiana cop beating Black man with flashlight in 2019

Video obtained by AP shows a Louisiana police officer in 2019 beating Aaron Larry Bowman, a Black man, 18 times with a flashlight, as he is heard screaming, "I'm not resisting! I'm not resisting!"

Driving the news: Bowman was left with a broken jaw, three fractured ribs, a broken wrist and a gash to his head that required six staples to close. The officer, who was white, defended the beating by saying it was "pain compliance" to get Bowman into handcuffs.

  • The police officer, Jacob Brown, was arrested in February on charges of aggravated second-degree battery and malfeasance in office in connection with the assault, the New York Times reports.
  • Brown had been involved in 23 incidents that involved use of force, and 19 of those incidents were against Black people, the Times notes.
  • Brown resigned from the Louisiana State Police in March.

Details: In the video, Brown is seen arriving at the scene after other officers remove Bowman from his car and pin him to the ground. Brown immediately begins beating Bowman on the head and on his body.

  • Bowman tried to explain that he was a dialysis patient and was not resisting, "I’m not fighting you, you’re fighting me," per AP, citing the state police investigation.
  • Bowman is then heard saying, "I'm bleeding! They hit me in the head with a flashlight!"

The big picture: The state police did not begin investigating the incident until 536 days after it happened, and after Bowman brought a civil lawsuit, per AP.

  • The FBI and the civil rights division of the Justice Department are investigating the case, the Times writes.

What they're saying: A police spokesperson told the Times that the investigation found that Brown's body-camera footage had been "intentionally mislabeled."

  • "As the investigation continued, detectives concluded that Brown engaged in excessive and unjustifiable actions and failed to report the use of force to his supervisors," the spokesperson added.
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