Outside agency to review claims of excessive force
Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal has fired a deputy following complaints of excessive force in the department’s efforts to clear out a large street party following the Sugar Cane Festival last month, according to a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
The deputy had been on administrative leave pending an internal probe of the Sept. 29 incident and was fired Wednesday, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Ryan Turner.
Ackal has asked an outside agency to review the case to determine if criminal charges should be pursued, Turner said.
Turner declined to name the deputy or which outside agency has been contacted.
“We still have an ongoing investigation,” he said.
The termination comes after a video surfaced on YouTube that shows what some have alleged to be an image of a deputy kicking and clubbing a handcuffed man after responding to a party on Hopkins Street in New Iberia.
The case has attracted the attention of the Rev. Raymond Brown, with the New Orleans civil rights group National Action Now.
Brown said Wednesday that he filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department over the incident.
Federal authorities told him that “we’ve got something to work with,” Brown said.
He said it appears from the video that one deputy kicked and clubbed a man in handcuffs while three or four other deputies stood watching.
A deputy also allegedly slammed the head of a woman against a car when she approached to ask why the handcuffed man was being hit, Brown said.
Brown said he is pushing for criminal charges to be brought against the deputy accused of the violence and at least suspensions for those deputies who watched.
“They didn’t try to stop him from doing it,” Brown said.