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Chief: Kaplan police officer arrested and terminated

Posted at 9:43 AM, Oct 06, 2023

VERMILLION PARISH — A Kaplan Police officer has been terminated and is now under arrest after a Wednesday night traffic stop.

As we reported Thursday, Kaplan Police Chief Joshua Hardy confirmed that Patrick Doucet was booked with filing a false public record, malfeasance in office, and aggravated battery. The false public record charge is related to the police report about the incident that the officer wrote.

As of Friday morning, Doucet remained in the parish jail with bond set at $20,000.

Hardy told us Thursday evening that he also was going to terminate the officer.

The termination and arrest are related to a traffic stop that happened in Kaplan Wednesday night. A young man was stopped by the officer, and eventually was arrested after being tased at the scene.

"The actions taken by the officer was way completely out of line," said Hardy. "There's no reason to use excessive force."

The victim was seeking medical treatment Thursday and wasn't ready to talk to us.

When we reached out to the chief early Thursday, he told us that he had placed the officer on leave after viewing the body cam footage of the stop, had the charges against the young man dropped and secured his release, and ordered an investigation into what happened.

By Thursday afternoon, officers had obtained a warrant for the officer, and Hardy said he would terminate the officer as soon as he was booked at the Kaplan Police Department.

"I have zero tolerance for that type of behavior," Hardy said. "Everyone needs to be treated equally."

Hardy said upon taking office as chief, the officer "had issues with how he talked to people [and] the way he treated people."

Federal Court records show Doucet was named in a lawsuit filed in May. The plaintiff claimed Doucet and two other Kaplan officers violated his civil rights during an arrest in April 2023. The plaintiff is being held in the Vermilion Parish jail and is representing himself, records show; in other words, he is in the same jail as Doucet.