CASE #8 – Williams et al. v. Ferguson et al. (EDLA)

Parish: Orleans

Police Department(s):

  • New Orleans Police Department;
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office; and
  • Louisiana State Police.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, alongside Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, is now representing Remingtyn A. Williams, Lauren E. Chustz, and Bilal Ali-Bey, on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated in Louisiana who participated in peaceful protest in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder and were met with excessive force at the hands of law enforcement. Specifically, on June 3, 2020, law enforcement officers in Louisiana violently attacked hundreds of peaceful demonstrators with batons, tear gas, and rubber bullets, resulting in what has been described in media reports as the most high-profile local confrontation between demonstrators and police amid protests across the U.S. The discriminatory nature of this excessive crackdown on peaceful protests against police misconduct was made painfully clear when these events are juxtaposed with the gentler police response to other events in Louisiana over the years that did not involve protests against racial injustice or police misconduct, as well as the storming of the Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021.

The class action complaint seeks to hold the responsible officers and their supervisors and enablers accountable for systemic discrimination against demonstrators exercising their right to protest police misconduct. The class action complaint alleges that the defendants violated the demonstrators’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free speech and assembly, using excessive force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment and under Louisiana’s state constitution, and civil rights violations, among other tort claims, such as assault, battery, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress under Louisiana law.

Because of the defendants’ wrongful conduct that day—both in excessive force against peaceful demonstrators and in their attempts to curtail the First and Fourteenth Amendment for those protesting police misconduct and racial injustice—the class action complaint seeks to hold the supervisory defendants accountable for failing to adequately train their officers on how to appropriately respond to demonstrations and for the harm their violent and disproportionate actions caused on June 3, 2020 and beyond.

The defendants in this case are:

• Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, in his official capacity as Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department
• Superintendent Lamar A. Davis, in his official capacity as Superintendent of Louisiana State Police
• Sheriff Joseph P. Lopinto, in his official capacity as Sheriff of Jefferson Parish
• Officer Travis Johnson, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Jason Jorgenson, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Devin Joseph, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Michael Pierce, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Sergeant Travis Ward, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer David Desalvo, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Wesley Humbles, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Arden Taylor, Jr., officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Frank Vitrano, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Sergeant Evan Cox, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Lieutenant Merlin Bush, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Michael Devezin, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Bryan Bissel, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Daniel Grijalva, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Brandon Abadie, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Devin Johnson, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Douglas Boudreau, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Matthew Connoly, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Sergeant Terrance Hilliard, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Jonathan Burnette, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Justin McCubbins, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Kenneth Kuykindall, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Zachary Vogel, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Sergeant Lamont Walker, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Denzel Millon, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Raphael Rico, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Jamal Kendrick, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Sergeant Daniel Hiatt, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Jeffrey Crouch, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer John Cabral, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Matthew Ezell, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer James Cunningham, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Demond Davis, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Joshua Diaz, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Sergeant Stephen Nguyen, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Vinh Nguyen, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Officer Matthew McKoan, officer with the New Orleans Police Department
• Captain Brian Lampard, with the New Orleans Police Department
• Captain LeJon Roberts, with the New Orleans Police Department
• Deputy Chief John Thomas, with the New Orleans Police Department

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