Arrest records say state trooper struck man 18 times, tried to hide video from superiors
BATON ROUGE - Arrest documents say a state trooper arrested for a 2019 incident involving excessive force tried to hide evidence of the encounter from his supervisors.
Trooper Jacob Brown was booked into jail Thursday afternoon after a judge signed a warrant.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported on Brown being placed on leave back in October, after LSP received a civil lawsuit alleging excessive force by one of its troopers. State Police refused to answer questions at the time. However, sources told WBRZ it involved an excessive force incident with an African American male.
Attorneys representing Aaron Bowman said he was dragged to the ground and "beaten senselessly " by some officers at the scene. According to his lawyers, Bowman's injuries included broken ribs, a fractured arm and a cut to the top of his head that required staples.
"He had nothing on him, was beaten terribly, dragged out of the vehicle," Attorney Donecia Banks-Miley said. "He suffered from ten stitches fractured bones, broken ribs, fractured arm and was taken to the hospital where he was left. He was never arrested."
According to an arrest warrant obtained Friday, Brown's body camera showed the trooper striking Bowman in the head with his flashlight. The affidavit says Brown went on to strike Bowman 18 times in the span of about 24 seconds.
The documents said Brown also admitted he did not document the incident in any LSP reports even though he considered it a use of force incident and labeled it a "citizen encounter." Brown said he labeled it as such because he did not arrest Bowman or document any reports. Because of the way the incident was labeled, it was not reviewed by State Police at the time.
"With the BWC video being miscategorized and not being labeled, the footage was not reviewed by supervisors," the document read in part.
According to the arrest documents, Brown's actions showed "an intentional attempt to hide the video from administrative review or criminal investigation."
Bowman was taken to a hospital the nigh of the incident, but he was booked into jail days later on charges of improper lane usage, flight from an officer, resisting an officer with force, and battery of a police officer. On Friday, Bowman's attorneys released graphic photos of his injuries and security video that captured part of the encounter.
When the incident originally occurred in 2019, nothing happened to Jacob Brown. He wasn't placed on leave for an entire year after the incident. Our sources have said that he was given a free pass because his dad was the Chief of Staff at the time, Bob Brown. He recently retired.
"It's absolutely no coincidence," Attorney Ron Haley said. "This was a cover-up. The chief of staff used his power to protect his son until he couldn't protect him anymore. It's obvious. They will say something different I'm sure, but we have common sense."
The agency announced Thursday that Brown's "excessive and unjustifiable actions" led detectives to obtain an arrest warrant for charges of aggravated second-degree battery and malfeasance in office.
Brown remains on administrative leave from LSP pending the results of the criminal and internal investigations.
"We are going to ask for his termination to happen immediately," Attorney Dedrick Moore said. "There's no room for this to happen in any police force whatsoever. But what is classified as one of the highest police forces in our state, there's no room for this."
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