Parish: Desoto

Police Department: Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana along with Covington & Burling LLP represent Mr. Jarius Brown in a civil rights action against officers from the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Police Department. The lawsuit asserts that on September 27, 2019, while in custody for nonviolent vehicle offenses, Plaintiff Jarius Brown was brutally beaten by DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies in violation of his US Constitutional Rights. The lawsuit also asserts that Defendants are liable under Louisiana state law for their violent attack on Mr. Brown.  

The complaint alleges that Mr. Brown was transported to DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office upon his arrest. He was led to the Sheriff’s Office laundry room to change into prison clothing. Mr. Brown arrived in the laundry room and proceeded to change.  While changing, and despite full compliance on Mr. Brown’s behalf, the DeSoto Parish deputies began to beat Mr. Brown without legal justification, warning, or provocation.  

The deputies hit Mr. Brown several times in his face and torso, causing severe harm.  Indeed, Mr. Brown collapsed as a result of the attack.  After the attack ended, Mr. Brown was given a prison jumpsuit by Defendants and taken to a holding cell where he remained in isolation—bloody, beaten, and struggling to remain conscious—before his injuries were noticed by another deputy at the Sheriff’s Office. 

As a result of the attack, Mr. Brown sustained multiple injuries.  He continues to experience mental and emotional trauma from the beating.

Mr. Brown is one of the countless Black men who have been unjustly brutalized by law enforcement in Louisiana. By bringing this case, Mr. Brown seeks to hold the DeSoto Parish deputies accountable for their violation of citizens’ rights under the U.S. Constitution and Louisiana state laws.

Mr. Brown also challenges Louisiana’s one-year liberative prescription period for Section 1983 cases. Louisiana is one of just three states with a one-year prescriptive period for Section 1983 cases. This contributes to a systematic lack of accountability for those responsible for police brutality against residents of Louisiana—a violation of the intent of governing Supreme Court precedent. Victims of police brutality face a number of legal, personal, and psychological barriers to bringing a case in such a prohibitively short time period. Mr. Brown requests the court to hold that Section 1983 actions in Louisiana based on a criminal assault, as applicable here, are subject to a two-year prescriptive period consistent with the comparable Louisiana prescription period for crimes of violence.

The defendants in the case include:

  • Former DeSoto Parish Deputy Javarrea Pouncy
  • DeSoto Parish Deputy Doe #1
  • Louisiana Police Officer Doe #2

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