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Warrant: Trooper hit prone suspect 18 times with flashlight

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Posted at 7:18 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 20:18:27-05

MONROE, La. (AP) — Arrest documents filed in the case of a Louisiana state trooper facing battery and malfeasance charges say he used a flashlight to strike a suspect 18 times in 24 seconds.

State police announced the arrest of Monroe-based trooper Jacob Brown on Thursday. A review of arrest records Friday by The News-Star in Monroe shows that Brown is accused of beating the suspect with a flashlight equipped with a special tip to break car safety glass.

Brown has not commented publicly on the case and online records provided no information on his attorney. He is free on bond and is on administrative leave.

The warrant, based in part on video of the incident, said the man was on the ground and was not behaving aggressively. The incident happened in May 2019.

The suspect, Aaron Bowman, is suing Louisiana State Police and multiple Ouachita Parish agencies in connection with the beating.

Brown labeled his body worn camera video as a “citizen encounter.” The News-Star reported that state police policy would require that it be classified as “criminal arrest” or “criminal investigation.”

“With the BWC video being miscategorized and not being labeled, the footage was not reviewed by supervisors,” the warrant states. “Additionally, instead of ensuring the video would be retained through the adjudication process, the video would be automatically deleted after one fiscal year.”

Bowman’s lawsuit says he suffered lacerations, a broken arm and broken ribs in his May 2019 encounter with law enforcement.

Brown was interviewed on Nov. 19, according to the warrant, and told investigators he had seen Bowman hit one deputy and that Bowman’s fingers were interlocked on top of his head.

“Brown explained he was hitting Bowman with his flashlight for ‘pain compliance’ to force Bowman to release his hands so that he could be handcuffed,” the warrant reads.

Bowman’s attorneys released a statement thanking state police for opening the investigation.

“We are now demanding body camera footage and full accountability of all officers involved in this incident who either participated in Mr. Bowman’s unjustified beating or conspired to cover up the incident by failing to report the actions of the officers involved,” said the statement from the Pleasant, Williams & Banks-Miley Law Group in Monroe.

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