A Rapides Parish Sheriff’s deputy accused of beating a Lafayette man in jail has been arrested.
The deputy, Ryan C. Lewis, 26, was fired and arrested Tuesday for one count of Simple Battery.
This comes after Malcolm Xavier Williams, a Lafayette man, says the deputy and four other corrections officers violently beat him right before right before he was supposed to be released from jail after being falsely imprisoned for four days.
Williams’ attorney, Ron, Haley, says the deputy’s arrest is a step in the right direction, but it’s not over.
“Release the video. Release the video, and let’s see if the evidence supports the level of accountability that we are getting with the arrest of this single officer. We cannot just except paper in black and white, an explanation of what they believe the evidence shows. The public needs to see that. My client needs to see this,” Haley said.
Haley says the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Department is ignoring their requests for the surveillance video that captured this assault.
“Release the video, and let the public see why you had to punish one of your own,” he added.
It’s been over a week since the attack on March 22, and Haley says that video is still being hidden.
“The idea is that you hope people will just forget about it, that eventually we can drag this investigation long enough to where the public becomes numb or forgetful about it,” he said. “We have to remain diligent, and say, ‘That is not acceptable.'”
The sheriff’s office told News Ten they will not release the video to the media until their investigation is complete. Haley says that’s not acceptable.
“There’s no reason the sheriff’s office cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. You can release that video and still do a thorough investigation into this case. Releasing that video is not going to compromise this case in any way, shape or form,” he told News Ten.
Malcolm Xavier Williams says the officers’ attack was the scariest moment of his life, and he went through losing an arm.
He hopes sharing his story can prevent this from happening again.
“They did this to a disabled young man who should have never been to jail to begin with. If it can happen to somebody like that, it can happen to you,” Haley said.
Haley says it shouldn’t take a court battle to get a transparent investigation, but if the sheriff’s office continues to refuse to release the video, he says that’s what it will come to.
He also says a charge of simple battery is not enough for the officer. He believes the deputy should have been charfed with Second Degree Battery because of the extent of the injuries Williams’ received.
In addition, Haley believes the deputy should be charged with false imprisonment because the officer charged Williams with Resisting Arrest after the assault to prevent him from leaving jail with his injuries.
Williams says that charge was dropped, and he was released ten hours after the assault after the jail’s warden reviewed the surveillance video that captured the incident.