Man claims arrest on false charges, excessive force

By By Lauren Manary / American Press

A

man claims Leesville police arrested him on false charges and used

unnecessary force during the arrest, using a Taser on him more than five

times.

Jeffrey Brown was arrested by

officers with the Leesville Police Department in the early morning hours

of Feb. 8 after he and his friends attempted to leave a local diner. He

said he and his friends had waited nearly an hour for their meals to

arrive and decided to leave to find another place to eat when a police

officer stopped them and said they would be jailed for theft if they

left without paying for their order.

When police threatened to arrest Brown, Brown said

he refused to pay for food he never received and told the officer to go ahead and arrest him if he wanted to do so.

“I’ve been dealing with this my

whole life,” said Brown, who is African-American. “My whole thought for

giving myself up was, ‘Let’s not make this a situation.’”

Brown, a staff sergeant stationed at

Fort Polk, said after he put his hands behind his back to be arrested,

officers began hitting him with a Taser, bringing him to the ground.

Dontel Hackett, a friend of Brown’s who was with him that night, took a short video on his cell phone. The video

shows a man, who Brown identifies as

himself, laying face down on the ground being hit with a Taser with two

officers on top of him. Hackett said the video captures the end of the

arrest and that officers had used the stunning device on Brown multiple

times before the start of the video. It had been posted on the

video-sharing site YouTube and viewed nearly 800 times, but has since

been removed.

Brown said he was unable to put his hands behind his back again because officers continued to Taser him,

leaving him immobilized. He was

later booked into the Leesville jail and charged with resisting arrest

and disturbing the peace.

“I was just trying to figure out why they did it,” Hackett said. “He didn’t pose a threat or anything like that.”

Hackett said the meals were eventually paid for and Brown was not charged with theft.

Leesville Police Department did not return multiple calls for comment.