The Louisiana Attorney General drops the charges against Aaron Bowman, a black man who was arrested after being hit 18 times by an officer with a flashlight
The state of Louisiana has dropped charges against a black motorist who was jailed for resisting arrest, despite being relentlessly hit with a flashlight by one of the arresting state police officers.
Officials who have viewed evidence related to the case ruled that the disgraced former officer who assaulted and arrested the man was untruthful in his account of the 2019 altercation and would soon face civil and criminal federal lawsuits will be that will link him to the man’s beatings.
On Monday, Assistant Attorney General Darwin C. Miller announced that his office would drop a number of charges against 47-year-old Monroe resident Aaron Bowman in connection with a 2019 arrest. After taking over the case in February from District Attorney Robert S. Tew’s office at the request of Bowman’s attorneys, the state’s top attorneys believed the victim’s record on the matter should be cleaned up, according to The Advocate.
Viewing the case, including footage from officers’ bodycams, the AG’s office said there was “insufficient evidence” and “credibility issues surrounding both the arrest and the assisting officers.”
Several stories of the encounter between authorities over the incident have circulated over the past three years.
However, an untruthful account of his behavior during the arrest eventually landed the victim in jail on July 15, 2019, where he was charged with improper lane use, aggravated escape from an officer, violent or violent resistance to an officer, and simple police battery officer.
Now the man’s defense attorney believes justice is at hand.
“For him it is a step towards justice. There is obviously a civil trial that will be the ultimate test of justice,” said Keith Whiddon, his criminal trial attorney. “But that’s at least a small step towards justice for him.”
According to KNOE, Bowman’s other attorney, Donecia Banks-Miley, believes the charges should have been dropped in 2021.
“I felt that indicting Jacob Brown would exonerate our client, Aaron Bowman. Just because the footage was already out by that point showing him getting hit,” she said. “So I really couldn’t understand why Aaron was still having these allegations. Today we’re just glad he’s finally been cleared of those charges and we want to make him feel better and let the community know that Aaron did nothing wrong.”
In May 2019, Bowman was hammered 18 times with a flashlight by Jacob Brown outside his home after he was arrested by several other authorities for an alleged traffic violation, News Star reported.
State police, the Ouachita Community Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies said they followed Bowman to his home after officers allegedly saw him cross the center line in the middle of the road. Officers turned on the lights in their squad car to initiate a traffic stop outside the man’s home in his driveway.
Trooper Brown arrived at the scene too late, who saw three officers “trying to apprehend Bowman”. Using verbal commands, officers manage to contain the suspect, handcuff him and issue an arrest warrant while he is lying on the ground with his hands in front of him.
Court documents claimed the officer began hitting the man with his flashlight. The weapon’s tip has been fitted with a “tactical cap” specifically designed to shatter vehicle glass. This adaptation made it a particularly dangerous weapon for Bowman.
Bowman was taken to the hospital and required stitches.
The attorney general’s office reviewed bodycam video of the incident and concluded that Bowman did not appear to be aggressive towards the officer, although he resisted arrest. It also showed that Brown may have violated the man’s civil rights by using excessive force during his detention.
Investigators said Brown appeared to be the only one who punched Bowman that day and charged Brown in the federal indictment with “deprivation under the color of the law.”
In 2020, Bowman filed a civil rights lawsuit against Brown and other law enforcement officials.
Shortly after that lawsuit, state police launched an internal review of the incident and believed Brown had acted improperly, charging him with one charge each of second-degree aggravated assault and misconduct in office, saying he had “excessive and unjustifiable… measures” taken.
A year later, federal prosecutors announced they would produce the former police officer on their own civil rights violation charges.
Brown was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 23, 2021. He was charged with second degree aggravated assault, misconduct and falsifying the arrest documents. The misconduct charge was Brown’s second in the last year. Prosecutors charged Brown and two other police officers with misdemeanor charges in connection with the violent arrest of another black man, Antonio Brown, in 2020. Brown led the soldiers on a high-speed chase that ended in his surrender and a caning that gave him “a long time.” Time would bring nightmares” while officers boasted to each other in text messages.
DA Tew has now withdrawn from Bowman’s case and has not issued a statement on the new findings. Before retiring, the prosecutor says in court documents that the civil suit is “unfair to the officers.”
In a Banks-Miley court affidavit on Oct. 1, 2021, Tew told her, “I will be honest with you, I will not undermine the officers’ defense in their civil case by dismissing the criminal complaint of Aaron Bowman resisting arrest.” “.
According to the attorney, Tew had a problem with the order’s effect because he believed that by dropping Bowman’s charges, the civil suits would have a better chance of success.
“Hey, (if) they dismiss the civil suit, then I’d look at Bowman’s charges.”
“Tell you what, I retract that statement,” Tew is quoted as saying in the document. “I will pursue all of Bowman’s charges, whether or not (sic) you drop the civil charges.”
Brown’s attorney, Attorney Scott Wolleson, prepares for the fight. Court documents say they have filed a number of motions to request that his criminal case continue in state court.
Recently, the Louisiana State Police have faced allegations of excessive use of force and racism.
In June, the US Department of Justice announced it would investigate the force after providing strong evidence showing a pattern of officers turning a blind eye to other officers brutally beating mostly black men during stopovers. A case of particular interest concerns the death of Ronald Greene, an African American man who died in police custody after being assaulted by police officers in 2019.
Greene and Bowman were attacked within months.
https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/08/01/louisiana-attorney-general-drops-charges-against-aaron-bowman-a-black-man-arrested-after-being-struck-18-times-with-a-flashlight-by-an-officer/ The Louisiana Attorney General drops the charges against Aaron Bowman, a black man who was arrested after being hit 18 times by an officer with a flashlight