A sheriff’s deputy was seen stomping on a 12-year-old boy during an arrest after pulling him over on a dirt bike in Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, on February 19, video released by the boy’s lawyers shows.
The footage of the incident was captured by a dashboard camera in a Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office (PPSO) vehicle and released by Ryan K. Thompson of the Thompson Justice Institute, who is representing the boy and his family.
According to Thompson, the video shows PPSO Deputy Sheriff Anthony Dugas “violently” throwing the boy to the ground and Deputy Joseph Francis kicking him several times.
Thompson said his 12-year-old client was riding his bike in the parish “with friends and family” and was stopped for alleged traffic violations. The boy had pulled to the side of the road and turned off his engine before the deputies approached him, Thompson said. “My client never resisted these large adult deputies!” he said in a press release. Thompson said the boy was 5-foot-4 and weighed 135 pounds.
The boy’s family are demanding the deputy be fired and an investigation be launched into the sheriff’s office, Thompson said.
In a statement on August 24, the PPSO said their deputies were involved in a chase with several all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) including the dirt bike the minor was operating.
The riders had “created a public safety hazard” and “refused to comply to all reasonable demands to cease their actions by multiple deputies,” the sheriff’s office said. The office inferred that deputies did not know the boy’s age at time of the incident, saying he was “taller than most deputies that were on the scene and wearing a full-face helmet.”
“He refused reasonable demands to get off of the dirt bike which led to him physically struggling with deputies while avoiding attempts to be handcuffed. Deputies proceeded to use necessary force to effect the arrest. The juvenile was charged with two felonies, two misdemeanors including resisting arrest and traffic violations,” the sheriff’s office said.
“The juvenile male, who was released to a parent, did not complain of any injuries and therefore was not transported to the hospital. It should be noted that the juvenile male was not observed to have any apparent injuries while displaying normal actions without any complaints or discomfort which was evident in case video.”
“Since the date of the incident on February 19, 2022, neither the juvenile male nor his parents made any complaints to the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office regarding any injuries sustained during this incident. After recently retaining the services of the same legal counsel as Reginald Hamilton, it is clear these allegations are an attempt to present edited, contextualized content to inflame the public’s perception of the facts of these incidents,” the PPSO said.
The Thompson Justice Institute also represents Reginald Hamilton, who was severely injured in a separate incident involving deputies from the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Thompson Justice Institute via Storyful