Three Louisiana State Police troopers have been charged with the brutal beating of a Black man, who was dragged to his feet by his hair. Prosecutors say the white officers later bragged about the violent incident in text messages.
According to reports, the three white officers –– Jacob Brown, Dakota DeMoss, and George "Kam" Harper –– are charged with misdemeanor simple battery for the 2020 arrest of Antonio Harris. Body camera footage shows the three officers snatching Harris by the hair after a high-speed chase ended near a cornfield in Franklin Parish. The white officers punched, kicked, kneed, and slapped Harris while he was faced down in surrender.
"They kept saying 'Stop resisting' but I was never resisting," Harris told investigators. "As soon as they got to me, one of them kneed me in my face. One of them was squeezing my eyes," Harris said.
A text exchange between the officers revealed the troopers "lol"-ed at the beating and mocked Harris who coughed up blood and suffered sore ribs days after the arrest.
"He gonna be sore tomorrow for sure," Brown wrote in one of the messages. "Warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man."
In other messages, the troopers said they gave Harris a "whoopin" that would give him "nightmares for a long time."
The state charges come as the Louisiana State Police Department faces scrutiny for its mishandling of allegations of excessive force against Black people and amid a federal grand jury decision in the same case.
It's currently unclear if the Department of Justice will pursue a federal civil rights violations case against the officers.
Similarly, the DOJ is still investigating the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene –– a Black man who was brutally beaten by Louisiana State Troopers until he died on the roadside.
Federal prosecutors are not certain they can bring a successful case against the officers in Greene's arrest, The Associated Press reported this week. State lawmakers are examining whether the Louisiana State Police covered up Greene's arrest and death.
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