Former Louisiana police officer accused of shooting unarmed Black man faces second criminal charge

Jul 24, 2023, 3:39 PM

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — State prosecutors have added a second felony charge against a former Louisiana police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed Black man earlier this year.

The second criminal charge of felony malfeasance was added Monday as former Shreveport officer Alexander Tyler, who is white, was arraigned on charges of shooting Alonzo Bagley at an apartment complex in February. Tyler and another officer were responding to a report by Bagley’s wife of a domestic disturbance.

Tyler pleaded not guilty to first-degree negligent homicide and felony malfeasance.

Body camera footage shows officers knocking on Bagley’s door, Bagley retreating into his apartment, and then jumping off a second-floor balcony. The video shows Tyler catching Bagley and shooting him once in the chest, and then officers begging him to stay alive while trying to administer first aid.

Tyler was charged with negligent homicide on Feb. 16 by the Louisiana State Police, about two weeks after the shooting. State police typically investigate shootings involving police officers in Louisiana.

“These charges are extremely disappointing,” Dhu Thompson, Tyler’s defense lawyer, said Monday. “However, we have been prepared since day one to bring the case and facts therein to an impartial jury. We look forward to our day in court.”

Both negligent homicide and malfeasance in office carry sentences of up to 5 years in prison.

Relatives of Bagley have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Tyler, who had been an officer for about two years before he resigned in March.

Family members hired Louisiana attorney Ronald Haley, who has represented other high-profile clients, including the family of Ronald Greene, a Black motorist whose 2019 death in state police custody in north Louisiana prompted lawsuits and criminal charges against law enforcement officers.

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Former Louisiana police officer accused of shooting unarmed Black man faces second criminal charge