OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — A white Opelousas police officer who was fired after beating a Black teen while he was restrained in a hospital bed has been convicted on three counts of malfeasance in office.
Sgt. Tyron Andrepont was accused of striking Jonah Coleman, then 18, in the face, throat, right leg and right arm at Opelousas General Hospital on Oct. 30, 2020.
Coleman was not in police custody or a suspect in any crime, Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon said at the time.
He had been taken to the hospital by his family at the request of his parents and described by authorities as mentally challenged.
A sentencing date for Andrepont has not been set.
“We will always hold our police accountable,” prosecutor Katie Ryan said.
After reviewing video footage of the incident, and following an investigation by State Police, McLendon said he wanted to restore confidence in the badge and let people know that “we are standing with them.”
He then ordered an internal investigation.
“When I saw that video, I saw my son in that video. I saw your brother in that video because it could happen to anybody, and that should have never happened. We are not against the public. We took an oath of office and we are sworn to serve these people and protect them,” McLendon said.
He said his department should have never been called to Opelousas General and the situation would have been better handled by a social worker, but he also said all OPD officers are called to a higher standard.