Ex-Trooper Acquitted Of Charges After 2019 Incident

A Black man’s civil rights were allegedly violated in 2019 when former Louisiana state trooper Jacob Brown repeatedly struck him with a flashlight during a traffic stop. The former trooper’s case went viral when police body cam evidence of the assault surfaced, sparking widespread anger. 

After a traffic stop in May of 2019, the video captured Brown using a flashlight to strike Aaron Larry Bowman around 18 times in the head and chest while pinned down. 

Bowman had to have staples put in his skull to close a cut and had to have his jaw, three ribs, and wrist set. Released body-cam footage showed Bowman appealing to the trooper between strikes, saying, “I’m not resisting.”

Brown was found not guilty after a three-day trial in Monroe, Louisiana, roughly 100 miles east of Shreveport. The jury concluded that Brown had not deprived Bowman of his civil rights. 

During an earlier investigation, Brown admitted to using a flashlight as a baton for “pain compliance.” Prosecutors at the federal level said the flashlight’s metal tactical cap might be used to shatter glass.

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana Brandon B. Brown said Thursday that they believed their client’s civil rights were violated. The jury, however, did not share their view, and they “must abide by their verdict.”

According to a complaint filed with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bowman disregarded the deputy’s lights and sirens and continued driving after the S.U.V. was asked to stop. Bowman had gone the wrong way down a road. Bowman told the police he was hesitant to pull over and wanted to store the vehicle at his house in fear he would go to prison, but the deputy claimed that he smacked him in the head with a clenched fist and put up a fight.

The civil rights lawsuit surrounding Michael Brown is concluded, but the death of Black man Ronald Greene in 2019 at the hands of Louisiana State Police is still being investigated by state and federal authorities. Police officers were shown on body camera footage hitting, pulling, and deploying a stun gun on Greene as he pleaded for help. The case energized activists, and the Louisiana State Police came under intense scrutiny when body-cam evidence disproved their first account of Greene resisting arrest during a high-speed pursuit.