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Attorney claims driver shot during East Feliciana traffic stop was traumatized by past run-in with police
ETHEL - Cell phone video shows the frantic moment a family member tried to get Jolisa Perkins to come out of her car during a traffic stop Saturday night.
That woman can be heard yelling to an East Feliciana deputy that Perkins was scared by the encounter, which happened on a dark country road in Ethel. Perkins then took off in her car as an East Feliciana deputy was standing alongside the vehicle, and that deputy started shooting.
"Fifteen shots into that vehicle for a routine traffic stop," said attorney Ron Haley, who's representing Perkins.
Perkins was shot in the mouth and hand.
Perkins was headed to her sister's house when blue lights appeared behind her. She continued to drive down Line Road, then onto Payne Road. It's not clear yet why she was being pulled over.
"She put on her flashers and was trying to get to a well-lit area. This is something that law enforcement advises folks in the public all the time," Haley said.
Haley says Perkins kept driving until she got to her destination, too scared to pull over. The attorney says once Perkins got there, she was approached by a different deputy with his gun out, and that is why she tried to drive away.
This isn't Perkins' first contentious run-in with an officer. In June, she received a payment from the St. Francisville Police Department which settled out of court after Perkins sued over an alleged unlawful arrest. According to that lawsuit, Perkins was pulled over for going 65 miles per hour in a 45 mile-per-hour zone.
She claimed she was then arrested after the officer asked her for her phone number and she refused to give it, telling the officer it was inappropriate and beyond the scope of a lawful traffic stop. The officer then told her to turn her car off since she was going to jail, the lawsuit says.
It's unclear how much was paid in the settlement, and the city didn't admit any wrongdoing outright.
Haley says it was that recent encounter that left Perkins scared of law enforcement.
"We don't have to guess what her story is. We don't have to put the pieces of the puzzle together to figure out what happened. She is here as a testament as to what happened, and she can speak for herself. I think that's going to be powerful for us. As we move forward in litigation," Haley said.
State Police and the East Feliciana Sheriff's Office declined to comment as the investigation continues.
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