Trial of 4 officers charged in man’s death goes ahead
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — The trial of four officers charged in connection with the death of a man who died in police custody in northern Louisiana will go forward, a judge ruled Thursday, rejecting efforts by the four Shreveport officers to have the charges thrown out.
KSLA-TV reported that the four officers — Brian Ross, James McClare, Treona McCarter and D’Marea Johnson — had been scheduled to face trial in December in connection with the April 2020 death of Tommie McGlothen Jr. But then the four waived their right to a jury trial and asked the judge to decide the case. They also filed motions asking the judge to dismiss the case.
The officers face charges of negligent homicide and malfeasance in office, and have pleaded not guilty.
According to a lawsuit filed last March by McGlothen’s family, his death was caused by the officers who punched him, kicked him, beat him with a baton and used a stun device and pepper spray on him. The suit also says McGlothen spent 48 minutes in a police patrol unit, unattended and handcuffed, with dash-camera video showing he was in respiratory distress before officers summoned medical help.
The Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office has said that McGlothen, who had mental health issues, had three encounters with police within a short time span on the day he died. The office also said there’s evidence that excessive force was used on McGlothen, and that officers failed to summon medical help for him.
Lawyers representing the officers have said they requested medical assistance within a minute of placing McGlothen in the back of a patrol car and that emergency medical personnel arrived within 17 minutes. They also have denied other allegations including that the officers were told McGlothen was suffering a mental health crisis when they first encountered him while answering a call from his family.