BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A Louisiana judge has awarded a family more than $41,000 after hearing testimony that sheriff’s deputies used excessive force on a pregnant woman, shouted racial slurs and erased a cellphone video of the confrontation.
In his ruling last week, state District Court Judge Curtis Sigur said he believes Lakitha Wright’s testimony that Iberia Parish sheriff’s deputies pushed her over porch railings, threw her to the ground and pepper-sprayed her in April 2012. Wright was more than 8 months pregnant at the time.
In January, the judge presided over a juryless trial for Wright’s lawsuit. The only deputy who testified denied throwing Wright to the ground or using racial epithets after responding to a neighbor’s complaint about a fight between two of Wright’s relatives.