Jeanerette police officer suspended after allegations he used excessive force during arrest


JEANERETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Jeanerette police officer is on leave after officials say he allegedly used excessive force while making an arrest at a New Year’s Eve party.

The incident happened just after 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2020, in the parking lot of Queen Bee Club in Jeanerette, according to Jeanerette Marshal’s Deputy Sgt. Carl Hardy, the lead investigator on the case.

Hardy said the fire department was first called to the club to do a patron count because the club was getting overcrowded. That’s when the chaos began in the parking lot.

Facebook Live video shows a Jeanerette police officer arresting a man that investigators say was causing a disturbance in the Queen Bee parking lot.

“The gentleman was charged with resisting arrest due to the fact that he was asked to stand down, and he continued to get involved in the situation. At that point, the officer ended up placing him under arrest and ended up detaining him,” Hardy said.

Witnesses say the officer used excessive force when arresting the man.

“Those allegations are taken very seriously. We look into them, and that’s why at that point in time the officer was placed on leave,” Hardy said.

When City Marshal and Interim Police Chief Fernest Martin arrived at the scene, he sent the officer home and launched an investigation.

“Any type of allegation of excessive force regarding the police department or the marshal’s office, we take very seriously. We want to come and intervene as quick as we can and respond as quick as we can because we never want to lose the public’s trust,” Martin said.

Police say they have concluded their investigation and have handed their findings over to the mayor’s office for review.

Martin said he was questioned about why he decided not to fire the police officer in the investigation.

Martin told News 10 the city has a policy that prohibits an interim police chief from firing or suspending a police officer.

The Jeanerette Mayor’s Office is now reviewing the findings of the police department’s investigation.

The mayor’s office will decide if the officer will be fired and forward the case to the district attorney’s office for possible charges.

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