KAPLAN, La. (KLFY)– A Kaplan police officer was arrestedand then fired Thursday in connection with a traffic stop incident where police said he used excessive force with a dangerous weapon on a subject.
Patrick Doucet, 27, was charged with filing a false report, malfeasance in office and aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon, according to the Kaplan Police Department. Authorities said Doucet was also fired from the police department.
The man who was stopped spent the night in jail after being arrested by Doucet. He was cleared of all charges and released from jail.
Kaplan Police Chief Joshua Hardy said he was looking over paperwork Thursday morning from the overnight shift when he noticed flaws in Doucet’s report from a traffic stop. Hardy said pieces were missing, and things weren’t adding up.
The discrepancies led him to review the officer’s body camera video.
“The officer was very aggressive and towards the end of the stop, used excessive force that shouldn’t have been used, especially when the gentleman being stopped was just asking a simple question, why he was being stopped,” Hardy said.
Former officer Doucet then found himself behind bars just ours later.
“We opened up an internal affairs investigation on the officer. The ending of that investigation was termination for that officer. He was also arrested and charged with criminal charges,” the chief added.
Hardy said he’s arrested three Kaplan police officers since he took over as chief in 2018.
Before officers are hired, they must pass a background check and a psychological evaluation.
“At that point, they don’t look like they would do anything wrong,” Hardy said. “As it goes on, I don’t know what it is. They just think they’re above law. They don’t realize the badge on their chest is just a piece of metal. It doesn’t make them above the law, and it doesn’t make them better than anyone else.”
The chief added he has a zero tolerance policy for his officers and won’t hesitate to arrest his own.
“One bad apple doesn’t make the whole basket bad,” Hardy said. “We’re still going to push forward and do our job the way we were trained to do and still protect the people of Kaplan.”
Doucet is in custody at the Vermilion Parish jail. His bond is set at $20,000, according to KPD.