Police officer on leave over claims he choked teen, used slur
JACKSON - An attorney is seeking employment records of a police officer accused of choking a teenager and calling him a racial slur, saying the officer may have a history of similar complaints.
The Jackson Police Department confirmed officer Travis Clay Depew was put on administrative leave after an excessive force complaint stemming from an incident in February. Depew and law enforcement from other agencies were called to a reported fight involving juveniles in a parking lot outside Main Street Market in Jackson.
The department said Depew's body camera was not on at the time of the encounter.
A complaint filed the next day claims Depew grabbed a 16-year-old around the neck and called him a slur. Depew was placed on leave immediately and remains off duty pending an investigation. He's worked at the department for about a year.
No arrests have been made related to the fight, but it remains under investigation.
Ronald Haley Jr., the attorney representing the teenager, released a statement Thursday afternoon alleging Depew has faced similar accusations in the past.
"We have learned that Officer Depew was employed by other law enforcement agencies throughout southern Louisiana. We have reason to believe that the behavior he displayed when he came into contact with our 16 year old client was not an "outlier," but "par for the course." Further we believe that once we are able to to obtain his employment records and history of complaints it will show the familar pattern of loopholes within the system that allow for bad police officers to change agencies without a problem after they are subjected to disciplinary actions from their previous employer. This is creates a danger to the public that these agencies are to protect."
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