March 3, 2024
An attorney for a 12-year-old boy said his client was unnecessarily brutalized by police officers in Louisiana. Attorney Ryan K. Thompson of the Thompson Justice Institute told WTVT a video...

An attorney for a 12-year-old boy said his client was unnecessarily brutalized by police officers in Louisiana.

Attorney Ryan K. Thompson of the Thompson Justice Institute told WTVT a video from Feb. 19 showed deputies arresting his client in the Plaquemines Parish of Louisiana.

Footage captured by the dashboard camera in a Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office vehicle showed the unidentified boy pulling off the road on his dirt bike.

One officer, Deputy Sheriff Anthony Dugas, could be seen tackling the boy from behind.

Another officer, Deputy Joseph Francis, then ran to the scene.

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When he arrived on the scene, Francis raised his leg and began stomping. While the boy could not be seen due to the angle of the video, Thompson said the officer was stomping on the child.

“My client never resisted these large adult deputies!” Thompson said according to WTVT.

Meanwhile, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office told a different story.

In a post on Facebook, the office said the boy was part of a group of people riding ATVs and dirt bikes “without functioning headlights, operating in a reckless manner endangering motorists on Woodland Highway.”

Should these deputies face charges for how they treated this child?

Yes: 77% (1154 Votes)

No: 23% (336 Votes)

“During the course of the incident, all the four-wheelers and the dirt bike created a public safety hazard by blatantly disregarding numerous traffic laws designed for commuters to travel without fear of their safety,” the office wrote.

“The actions committed by the operators of these vehicles include, but are not limited to – disregarding functioning traffic signals (red lights), crossing lanes into oncoming traffic, traveling after dusk without headlights, failure to yield to oncoming traffic, leaving the roadway onto the sidewalk and entering private property and disregarding speed laws.”

The office said two people were apprehended on Feb. 19: 20-year-old Jaiques Wilson and a juvenile male, apparently the 12-year-old boy.

The office said Wilson crashed into an oncoming vehicle and attempted to flee the scene before he was caught and apprehended. The 12-year-old’s arrest was a separate event.

“The juvenile male, who was taller than most deputies that were on the scene and wearing a full-face helmet, was apprehended after his dirt bike became disabled despite his attempts to continue to flee from deputies,” the office wrote.

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“He refused reasonable demands to get off of the dirt bike which led to him physically struggling with deputies while avoiding attempts to be handcuffed. Deputies proceeded to use necessary force to effect the arrest. The juvenile was charged with two felonies, two misdemeanors including resisting arrest and traffic violations.”

The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office said neither the 12-year-old nor his family had complained about injuries stemming from the arrest, and it said allegations of abuse from the officers were “an attempt to present edited, contextualized content to inflame the public’s perception of the facts of these incidents.”

The 12-year-old’s family has called for Francis to be fired, but the office said all deputies involved in the incident had been cleared, according to WTVT.

Before making any judgements in the case, it is important for Americans to wait until all of the evidence is revealed in a court of law. It is possible the deputies could have neutralized the threat without such force, but without all the necessary facts, it would be unfair to make this determination prematurely.

Too often, Americans make snap judgements about cases involving law enforcement before the facts of the case are fairly presented. In order for justice to be preserved, we must wait for the evidence to come out.

Once that happens and each side makes its case in court, then it will be appropriate to make a determination about which party needs to be held responsible. For now, Americans should resist the urge to let their biases unfairly determine their opinions on the case.