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Video shows black man being punched, hit with stun gun by police in Louisiana city

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A new video from KSLA News 12 in Shreveport, La., shows police punching, hitting and using a stun gun on an African American man who later died in custody. 

KSLA News 12 published video of cellphone footage of the April 5 confrontation between Tommie Dale McGlothen Jr., 44, and four officers in Shreveport on Monday.

Caddo Parish Coroner Todd Thoma ruled in a Tuesday release obtained by KSLA that McGlothen’s death “could possibly have been prevented.”

The 4 1/2 minute video shows at least one officer punching McGlothen repeatedly and another appearing to hit him with a baton, as he continues to kick at the officers. Witnesses in the background of the video say the officers were using a stun gun on him. 

At one point, the Shreveport Police Department officers appear to stand McGlothen up, but he falls or is pushed to the ground. Once police get him up again, they take him to the police vehicle and push him up against it, with his head hitting the hood.

Thoma determined McGlothen died the following morning from “natural causes” and “excited delirium,” which the American Medical Association defines as the sudden death of people “who are combative and in a highly agitated state” and is “often associated with stimulant use and certain psychiatric disorders.”

Police responded after McGlothen had fought with a homeowner in Shreveport, blocking the driveway and following them into the house. Officers said he was “mumbling incoherently” and “exhibiting signs of paranoia and emotional disturbance,” according to Thoma’s release. 

The coroner said it “should have been obvious that he needed medical care,” but he was left in the back of a patrol vehicle for 48 minutes before he was found unresponsive. He said McGlothen had an underlying heart condition. 

“He was predominantly unsupervised during this entire period.” Thoma said in the release. “After a violent confrontation with psychotic behavior, and being tased several times, a more thorough evaluation by either the fire department or preferably an emergency department would have been indicated.”

On Monday, Police Chief Bren Raymond released a statement saying all four officers involved in the altercation were on departmental leave after KSLA asked for comment on the video. He said the Caddo Parish District Attorney and Louisiana State Police are involved in the investigation. 

Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart said in a June 2 statement that it received investigatory files from the police department on May 29 on the death of McGlothen and another citizen, Wavey Austin, who allegedly died in Shreveport police custody on April 19. 

Stewart said the “initial review” found the files were “missing reports, statements, downloads, and other vital information.”

“Upon our initial review of the files, we have found that they are missing reports, statements, downloads, and other vital information that is essential to conduct a thorough and complete review,” he said. “The Shreveport Police Department is being notified as to what is missing and is being requested to provide this to our office expeditiously.”

KSLA reporters spoke to three witnesses to obtain the cell phone video and verify what they saw. 

The release of the video of McGlothen’s altercation with police comes as protests have erupted across the country over police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Last month, video footage showed a former officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and became unresponsive. That officer was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, while the other three present were charged with aiding and abetting in murder. All four officers were fired.

Tags George Floyd George Floyd death George Floyd protests Louisiana police brutality Shreveport Tommie McGlothen Jr.
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