Former Louisiana State Soldier Charged With Flashlight Beating Black Motorist
Jacob Brown, a former Louisiana State Police soldier, was charged Thursday with violating the civil rights of Aaron Larry Bowman, a black man he hit 18 times with a tactical flashlight.
If convicted, Brown, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. This is the first criminal case to emerge from a federal investigation into the assault on several black motorists by members of Troop F, a police unit composed primarily of white officers, NBC News reports.
Ahead of Thursday’s indictment, Brown was charged with using unreasonable force in the arrest of Bowman and two other black motorists; he was arrested in December and resigned three months later. The Associated Press obtained records showing that over the course of five years, Brown was part of 23 use of force incidents, 19 of which involved black people.
In 2019, Bowman, 46, was arrested for misuse of lanes and removed from his car by MPs. Brown, who arrived at the scene as Bowman got out of the car, told investigators he was “trying to get involved” and claimed Bowman hit one of the deputies. He defended himself from hitting him with the flashlight, saying it was a “respect for pain”. After the incident, Brown did not report his use of force and put the wrong tag on his body camera video; investigators wrote in internal archives that it was “an intentional attempt to hide the video.”
Bowman was hospitalized after being beaten with a broken jaw and ribs and a cut to the head. He sued Louisiana state police nearly two years after the incident, and that’s when the department launched an investigation. Video obtained by PA does not show Bowman hitting MPs, and he has denied doing so. He continues to face charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting a police officer and improper use of the lanes.
Bowman’s lawyer, Donecia Banks-Miley, Recount PA Brown’s indictment is “a relief. We’re just trying to keep hope and trust the justice process. Aaron is extremely happy and he just wants full justice.”