Baton Rouge, Louisiana
7 Day Forecast
Follow our weather team on social media

Lawsuit over deadly 2020 pursuit resurfaces after girls' deaths in weekend police chase

4 months 4 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, January 04 2023 Jan 4, 2023 January 04, 2023 11:00 PM January 04, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The lawyer behind a lawsuit filed over a high-speed pursuit left two people dead has filed a motion seeking a status hearing after a similar situation left two innocent girls dead this past weekend.

The chase started Oct. 26, 2020, in Pointe Coupee Parish and spanned East Feliciana, West Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes. Officers were after a stolen car when it wrecked and killed two people: 17-year-old Stanlasija Brue, and 22-year-old Thaddeus Johnson Jr.

Brue was in a stolen Camaro. Johnson was in a Mustang that was hit head-on.

Three others, including a 4-year-old in the back seat of the stolen car, were critically injured in the crash.

Attorney Ron Haley held a news conference Thursday where he discussed the suit, which was first filed in October 2021, based on court records.

Haley called the news conference after he filed a motion seeking a status hearing Wednesday, aiming to establish deadlines for the litigation or secure a trial date.

The move was propelled by the recent deaths of two high schoolers who were struck and killed by an Addis police officer during a chase over the weekend. 

That chase, which started on New Year's Eve in Baton Rouge over a stolen car, made its way into West Baton Rouge where additional law enforcement joined the pursuit. The officer who was behind the wheel, David Cauthron, was booked for negligent homicide and negligent injuring.

"In light of the recent tragedy resulting in the untimely and preventable deaths of Brusly teens Caroline Gill and Maggie Dunn—caused by a similar senseless police chase to recover allegedly stolen property—the family of Thaddeus Johnson, Jr. is forced to wonder if more victims would be alive today if those in charge had reacted appropriately and with reason after Thaddeus Johnson, Jr. was killed back in October 2020," Haley said in a statement. 

A separate statement from Haley, who's representing Johnson's family, claims "at least seven officers from three separate departments spanning four parishes" were involved in the 2020 chase. 

The suit names the Pointe Coupee sheriff and several officers who were involved in the pursuit as defendants. The New Roads police chief was formerly named in the suit, but the city's police department was dropped from the suit in June 2022.

Editor's note: This story has been edited to clarify that Johnson and Brue were in separate vehicles. 

More News

Desktop News

Click to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
7 Days