Police Department: Shreveport Police Department
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and Ice Miller LLP, on behalf of Plaintiff Gregory Bledsoe, recently filed their brief in opposition to the defendant-officers’ appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. By way of background, Mr. Bledsoe was wrongfully arrested as a result of the defendants’ incomplete and faulty investigation into a burglary that occurred in 2015. At that time, Mr. Bledsoe was an independent contractor hired to repair the broken window at the rental property where the burglary occurred. The repair took place days after the burglary alleged took place — a fact which the defendants failed to include in the arrest warrant application and accompanying affidavit from one of the officers. Mr. Bledsoe was arrested months later and, despite the exonerating evidence detailing his authorization to fix the broken window, Mr. Bledsoe was prosecuted and relentlessly pressured to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit. When he accidentally failed to appear in court for a conference, he was jailed and was detained for 2 years before he was acquitted of all charges.
On March 2, 2022, the police officer defendants filed their joint motion to dismiss, alleging that they were entitled to qualified immunity as a complete defense for their actions. On March 30, 2023, the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana denied these defendants’ motion to dismiss. Therein, the District Court held that Mr. Bledsoe sufficiently pled that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated during defendants’ investigation and the criminal proceeding that followed, and that defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity because their actions were malicious (i.e., reckless). Moreover, the District Court correctly concluded that Mr. Bledsoe plausibly alleged the elements of his malicious prosecution claim under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and Louisiana state law against defendants in his Complaint.
Mr. Bledsoe is represented by Nora Ahmed and Bridget Wheeler at the ALCU of Louisiana and the Ice Miller LLP team consisting of Jacqueline Lesser, Masallay Komrabai-Kanu, and Kishala Srivastava.
The Defendant-Appellants in this case are:
- Officer David McClure and Sergeant Dean Willis of the Shreveport Police Department.