Police Department: Eunice Police Department
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, alongside Sidley Austin LLP, is representing Lieutenant Michael Dunn in an action against the City of Eunice, Louisiana, its Chief of Police, and others individuals in the Eunice Police Department. Through his lawsuit, Lt. Dunn blows the whistle on pervasive misconduct and corruption within the Eunice Police Department and seeks injunctive relief to effect badly needed policy change.
Lt. Dunn has been a police officer with the Eunice Police Department for nearly a decade. In recent years, Lt. Dunn has observed misconduct and corruption within the Eunice Police Department, including the use of excessive force, neglect of inmate medical needs, and misuse of department funds. Lt. Dunn thus felt compelled to alert local, state, and federal authorities to the misconduct pervasive in the department.
When the Eunice Chief of Police, Randy Fontenot, learned that Lt. Dunn refused to abide by the “blue wall of silence,” he and other officers retaliated against Lt. Dunn. Among other things, Chief Fontenot reduced Lt. Dunn’s hours and compensation and spread lies about Lt. Dunn within the Department and community, including by enlisting an individual facing criminal charges to falsely claim that Lt. Dunn bribed him. Lt. Dunn has been threatened with bodily harm and targeted with baseless and pretextual disciplinary action in an effort to force his resignation.
Lt. Dunn seeks redress for violations of his First Amendment right to speak on matters of public concern, Louisiana’s Whistleblower Statute, and the Constitution of the State of Louisiana. He also seeks injunctive relief for defamation, civil conspiracy, false light invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. His lawsuit seeks to correct policy failures of the Eunice Police Department and the City of Eunice.
The defendants named in the complaint are:
- Randy Fontenot, Chief of Police of Eunice
- Victor Fontenot, an Officer in the Eunice Police Department
- Ryan Young, a Lieutenant in the Eunice Police Department
- The City of Eunice, Louisiana