Police brutality has been in the spotlight in the U.S. for several years, particularly when it concerns people of color. Many residents of Louisiana and elsewhere are concerned about violent actions that law enforcement officers may commit against civilians during a police encounter, whether it be an investigation or attempted arrest.
Officers have the right to use force during an arrest, especially if the suspect is being confrontational or poses a danger to self or others. Such force that is usually deemed legally acceptable may be the use of a taser or bodily strength when officers attempt to detain a person. However, it may be all too easy for physical force to become excessive, resulting in serious harm or fatal injuries.
This appeared to be the case in an incident that occurred in October 2017 in Marksville. NBC News reported that officers used a taser and then forcefully dragged a man to their squad car after he resisted arrest. There was reportedly an arrest warrant against the man, which the man demanded to see before he would submit to the arrest. However, officers said they did not have the warrant on them and he could see it at the police station. After the physical confrontation, the man died in the hospital. An autopsy blamed respiratory compromise, obesity and cardiovascular disease on his death.
The man’s family has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the sheriff, the officers involved and the city of Marksville, after a grand jury in March did not indict the officers. Families may have the right to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of their loved one if they believe someone’s actions resulted in the fatality.