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Lawsuit: Denham Springs man claims racial profiling, harassment during traffic stop | Crime/Police – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2022-05-25 09:00:00 –

A 67-year-old black man sued a law enforcement leader in the Parish of Livingston, claiming that his agent had illegally searched, detained, and abused him while transportation was stopped.

Alexander Clark’s lawyer, who grew up in a mostly black neighborhood surrounded by Edgewood Drives on Florida Avenue SE, Range Avenue, Petes Highway and Denham Springs, claims his experience is not unique in cities and parishes. increase.

The Federal proceedings Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard and Denham Springs Police Chief J. Shannon Womak claim to have created a political culture in which black residents unfairly target their city.

“Unfortunately, the harassment, deterioration and pain that Clark received in the hands of LPSO and DSPD are no exception,” the complaint said. “This is just one example of the everyday fraud experienced by individuals who live primarily in Black Neighborhood and visit.”

Ard declined to comment due to the proceedings in dispute. Womack did not immediately respond to the request for comment. A lawyer in Denham Springs also declined to comment.

The proceedings describe Clark as a “community pillar.” This is part of the first class of black students who integrated Denham Springs High School, the first black baseball player at the Southeastern University of Louisiana and a former defensive back of the Canadian football team Montreal Alouette.

Clark says the encounter with law enforcement agencies not only physically injured him, but also made him uneasy.

“My dad always said, right is right, and what happened to me is not right. I want justice for me and my community,” he said in a statement.

Traffic stop

According to complaints, around 11:30 pm on May 24, 2021, Clark was on his way home from seat locking and painting his longtime friend’s house. He spent more than 16 hours on the project and his clothes were covered with white drywall residue.

The proceedings say he tried to stop refueling his trucks at gas stations while he was away from the predominantly black neighborhood where he worked. The cruiser at the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office was pulled behind him with the lights flashing as he left the station, the proceedings said.



Alexander Dark Lark while playing for a baseball team at Southeastern Louisiana University.




According to the complaint, Clark responded when his agent approached and asked for a license and registration, but did not immediately receive the paperwork and instead “taken out the flashlight and began flashing around the truck.”

Clark says he got off the truck when he heard another agent arrive and looked into the truck with a flashlight.

In the proceedings, Clark’s voice was repeatedly asked, “Where is the crack?”, And the agent allegedly began searching for Clark’s truck without a warrant.

When they finally asked Clark to empty his pocket, the proceedings say he made a small tool and a $ 20 invoice.

According to the proceedings, the agent at some point called the radio “108” to inform him that the policeman was down or that he was in danger / distress. According to the complaint, several DSPD officers arrived at the scene in response to the phone call.

Nothing was found in the truck cab or Clark’s man, so one of the agents looked for a tool in the truck’s bed before making a tool “used for drywall” and “Clark cracked. We announced that we have found a pipe to use for sucking cocaine, “said the complaint.

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The agent then presented Clark’s $ 20 bill, insisted on the proceedings, asked Mr. Clark if he “owns anything that fell out of the bill,” and began speaking loudly.

When nothing fell from the bill, Clark stepped forward to get his money back. However, without announcing that he had been arrested, when he did, the agent “pulled Mr. Clark’s arms tightly behind his back, pushing his lower body into the truck bed and twisting it up and down.” Said the proceedings.

The agent then pushed Clark back and forth, pushing his arm backwards, and one of the DSPD officers “put a lot of pressure on his neck,” the proceedings said.

The complaint alleges that the agent searched again after handcuffing Clark and asked again, “Where is the crack?”

Authorities continued to search his truck, but found nothing, the proceedings said. Eventually, they took him to Livingston Parish Detention Center and booked him by resisting traffic violations and police.

Neighborhood

The proceedings allege that Clark’s experience is common to the residents of the Denham Springs neighborhood he visited. Most of the black population of the Parish of Livingston lives here.

Clark’s lawyer pointed it out, According to census dataThe parish is only about 7% black.

“Blacks in Livingston Parish are more than 200% more likely to be arrested for lower-level nonviolent crimes than whites, according to public data sets that include the FBI’s unified crime reporting program,” the lawsuit said. Says.

According to the complaint, LPSO and DSPD are overly police in areas where traffic is stopped, “turning into traumatic events where police harass, escalate, and sometimes use aggressive physical forces.” Has nurtured a culture.

“The imbalanced ticketing of LPSOs and crackdowns in neighboring areas cannot be explained by chance or neutral factors,” the complaint said. “No neighborhood has the highest population density, the highest traffic, and the highest number of crimes committed within Denham Springs or Livingston Parish.”

aftermath

According to the proceedings, Clark was arrested and subsequently released, after which he discovered that his agent had “broken his right arm and hand and tore his ligaments.” He also suffered from an increase in his hip pain after the incident.

He eventually underwent surgery due to his injury and was forced to decline work in the meantime, the proceedings say. And he says he suffered mentally for fear that his agent was trying to kill him at the time of the incident.



Alexander Dark Lark-football.jpg

Alexander Dark Lark during his football career.




According to the proceedings, the formal complaints about the sheriff’s office requesting records and the suspension of traffic were unanswered. The proceedings say the traffic violation he had booked was also withdrawn.

Clark is represented by a lawyer at the ACLU in Louisiana and the Social Justice Legal Foundation.

In addition to claiming damages for the encounter, Clark is seeking a declaration that the defendant has violated constitutional rights and an order that prevents authorities from targeting the neighborhood.



Lawsuit: Denham Springs man claims racial profiling, harassment during traffic stop | Crime/Police Source link Lawsuit: Denham Springs man claims racial profiling, harassment during traffic stop | Crime/Police

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