AP

4 Louisiana police officers cleared in Black man’s death

Jun 20, 2022, 3:21 PM | Updated: 3:30 pm

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A Louisiana judge has acquitted four city police officers in the death of a Black man arrested in April 2020.

Caddo District Court Judge Chris Victory ruled Friday that prosecutors failed to prove their case against Brian Ross, James LeClare, Treona McCarter and D’Marea Johnson, news agencies reported.

Each had been charged with negligent homicide in the death of Tommie McGlothen and with malfeasance in office as a Shreveport police officer.

All four waived their right to a jury trial. After prosecutors presented their case, defense lawyers asked for the judge to rule without hearing defense testimony. After considering the case overnight, he did so.

“Our office has not yet commented on the case,” John Andrew Prime, spokesman for the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office, said in an email Monday. Shreveport police did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

McGlothen’s family is continuing with a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in federal court, their attorney said.

During the trial, prosecutors revealed that they took the case to two grand juries, and the second indicted the officers.

In their motion for what is called a directed acquittal, defense lawyers noted that Louisiana State Police and the U.S. Department of Justice both reviewed the case and neither referred it to prosecutors.

“Our faith in the judicial system has been renewed,” Michael Carter, president of the Shreveport Police Officers Association, said after the trial, KTBS-TV reported.

“We have watched the testimony each day from prosecution’s witnesses, including expert witnesses, which has confirmed the complete lack of factual evidence against our members,” Carter said.

McGlothen’s sister, LaQuita McGlothen, had called police the day her brother died, trying to get him committed because of mental problems. She told reporters she was heartbroken.

“Not only have I lost my brother, but I’ve lost my sense of community. Those that are placed in a position to serve and protect, I no longer have trust in them at all,” she said.

LaQuita McGlothen testified that she told police she was worried that her brother would be hurt because he had stopped taking medication and was becoming more and more paranoid and delusional, KTAL-TV reported.

She said she and their father were told police could only commit someone who was homicidal, suicidal, threatening others, or greatly disabled. They told her to call them back if he got worse, and to call the coroner’s office in the morning because they have broader commitment powers.

A short time later, Officer Ross saw a driver haul McGlothen from his truck’s back seat. Body camera audio recorded Ross saying there was clearly something wrong with McGlothen, the station reported.

The driver decided not to press charges. Officer McCarter, who had come to help, was heard on body cam audio saying he needed to be committed.

Less than two hours later, McGlothen blocked a woman in a driveway, then went into her house. Her husband punched him and pulled a gun to make him leave while his wife called police.

McGlothen fought officers who tried to handcuff him. The officers were put on leave after video surfaced more than two months later, showing them using a stun gun, a chemical spray and a baton on him.

He was unresponsive less than an hour later and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The family’s lawsuit contends he was left alone between his arrest and his death — something police denied.

“This whole premise that he was left unattended for 45 minutes, which was the narrative not only throughout the state’s prosecution but through the media and social media. That was a false notion. That did not occur, and that’s the shame of it,” said Officer LeClare’s attorney, Dhu Thompson.

“These officers were drug through the mud for almost two years with that false premise and the evidence showed that that just was not the case,” he said Friday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

16 hours ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

3 days ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

3 days ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

4 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

4 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

4 Louisiana police officers cleared in Black man’s death