Justice for John Mays

Parish: Bossier; Caddo

Police Department: Shreveport Police Department

I was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. After high school, I went on to work in construction for thirty years and had three children. I’ve always had an interest in criminal justice and enjoy watching the news and keeping up with criminal law in my free time. At 52 years old, I would describe himself as a hardworking, dedicated man of my word.

Over the course of my life, I have had multiple interactions with the police and in September of 2018, I was wrongly charged for trespassing. As I was walking by a store, the store owners had called the police to complain about people down the street. When the police arrived, they mistakenly assumed I was a part of the group the store owners had complained about and stopped me. After the officer realized his mistake, he told me that they would correct their mistake and told Shreveport City Court to drop my charge for trespassing.

A year later on November 15, 2019, I was walking to my house in downtown Shreveport. I had just left a river boat from eating and had been waiting for a taxi for over an hour. It was then, when I figured it would be quicker to walk home. About halfway into my trip, I was walking on the right side of the road when a police officer called out to me. The officer began asking me questions such as ‘where are you coming from’, ‘have you been drinking’, and ‘where are you going’. After calmly informing the officer that I was on his way home and had not been drinking, the officer became more intrusive and called for assistance. Though I was familiar with the surrounding area, the officer told me I was going the wrong way to Shreveport. She then began to search me, going through my jacket where the only thing they found were my glasses. When interacting with the police, I was very careful and only spoke when necessary. Although the body cameras on the police officers somewhat reassured me, I was still in fear for my life.

After the officer was done searching me and had found nothing, she said “I can’t leave you here like this, you might hurt yourself”. I was not breathalyzed and had not said anything insinuating that I was intoxicated. My Miranda Rights were not read to me and I was subsequently taken to Shreveport City Jail where I was told that they had a hold on me for my prior charge of trespassing that had not been resolved. Because of this, I was detained and served 40 days in Shreveport City Jail until I found out that I could bail out.

While in jail, I was put in lock down without probable cause and was told the only way to get out was to beg the jailers who caused the lockdown. This resulted in me being assaulted by a female inmate on November 19th, 2019. This only aggravated my pre-existing heart condition and spinal injury as I had just had back surgery. I was beaten in front of a supervisor and nothing was done to stop or prevent my attack. Moreover, I was denied medical treatment after my sustained injuries, leaving me with permanent disabilities that impact my life to this day. Once I was released, I submitted a complaint to Internal Affairs but never got a response.

I never got a proper cause trial and Judge Randell and Judge Irvin signed the bench warrant for my arrest and presided over my case from September 2018 to September 2020. From there, Judge Pamela S. Lattier and prosecutor Monique Davis took over my case and they used malicious prosecution and fake subpoenas to intimidate me into taking a plea deal. They claimed that police officer David Ware, the officer present during my arrest in September of 2018, would testify against me. I believe that the prosecutors knew that Officer Ware did not plan on testifying and when I realized this, I protested in court and asked for access to video recordings of the trial. I never received the video recordings, even though the judge had ordered that I be given them.

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