Police settle Louisiana suit over 2020 beating of Black man

Jan 31, 2023, 12:07 AM | Updated: 3:00 pm

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by a Black man who said police officers in a Louisiana city threw him to the ground, slammed his face into the sidewalk and detained him in a mental health unit in retaliation for criticizing the police.

Terms of the settlement between Brandon Kennedy and officials with the Shreveport Police Department weren’t released.

Kennedy’s case was filed as part of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana’s Justice Lab program, which enlists the aid of private attorneys in suing over police abuses.

“Our client Brandon Kennedy endured a terrifying and dehumanizing ordeal, and we’re glad he’s receiving monetary compensation,” Nora Ahmed, ACLU of Louisiana legal director, said in a news release.

“We hope this settlement sends a message that when local law enforcement agencies violate the rights of the people they’re sworn to serve — we will hold them accountable,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed noted in an email that defense motions were denied that would have struck references in the lawsuit to the police department’s record on use of force and statistics on disparities in the treatment of Black and white suspects.

“I think in light of everything happening with Nichols this is very significant because it is literally how policing is done in this country,” she said, referring to Tyre Nichols, whose death three days after he was beaten by police officers in Memphis resulted in five officers being fired and charged with second-degree murder.

The Shreveport Police Department did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Kennedy’s lawsuit was filed in December of 2021. It said he was in a convenience store checkout line in December 2020 when he struck up a conversation with another customer. An officer overheard him express support for the Black Lives Matter movement and “his own negative experiences” with Shreveport police, according to the lawsuit.

The officer ordered Kennedy to step outside, according to the lawsuit. Once outside, the lawsuit said, Kennedy was complying with an order to walk away when the officer threw him to the ground, repeatedly slammed his head to the sidewalk and put his knee on Kennedy’s back. Other officers who arrived did nothing to stop the violence but handcuffed Kennedy.

The suit said officers searched Kennedy and, after finding nothing incriminating, took him to a hospital psychiatric ward where he was held. The next morning, a psychiatrist said there was no basis to hold him and he was released.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

18 hours ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

2 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

3 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

4 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

5 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

5 days ago

Police settle Louisiana suit over 2020 beating of Black man