December 3, 2021

Aaron Larry Bowman bodycam: Video kept secret for 2 years shows officer pummel Black driver with flashlight

MONROE, La. — Graphic physique digicam video kept secret for greater than two years shows a Louisiana State Police trooper pummeling a Black motorist 18 instances with a flashlight – an assault the trooper defended as “pain compliance.”

“I’m not resisting! I’m not resisting!” Aaron Larry Bowman may be heard screaming between blows on the footage obtained by The Related Press. The Might 2019 beating following a site visitors cease left him with a damaged jaw, three damaged ribs, a damaged wrist and a gash to his head that required six staples to shut.

Bowman’s encounter close to his Monroe residence got here lower than three weeks after troopers from the identical embattled company punched, surprised and dragged one other Black motorist, Ronald Greene, earlier than he died in police custody on a rural roadside in northeast Louisiana. Video of Greene’s dying equally remained beneath wraps earlier than AP obtained and revealed it earlier this 12 months.

Federal prosecutors are analyzing each circumstances in a widening investigation into police brutality and potential cover-ups involving each troopers and state police brass.

State police did not examine the assault on Bowman till 536 days after it occurred – though it was captured on physique digicam – and solely did so weeks after Bowman introduced a civil lawsuit.

The state police launched an announcement Wednesday saying that Jacob Brown, the white trooper who struck Bowman, “engaged in excessive and unjustifiable actions,” did not report the usage of power to his supervisors and “intentionally mislabeled” his physique digicam video.

Earlier than resigning in March, Brown tallied 23 use-of-force incidents courting to 2015 – 19 of them concentrating on Black individuals, in accordance with state police data.

Other than the federal investigation, Brown faces state fees of second-degree battery and malfeasance in Bowman’s beating. He additionally faces state fees in two different violent arrests of Black motorists, together with one he boasted about final 12 months in a gaggle chat with different troopers, saying the suspect is “gonna be sore” and “it warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man.”

On the evening Bowman was pulled over for a site visitors violation, Brown stumbled on the scene after deputies had forcibly eliminated Bowman from his automobile and brought him to the bottom. The trooper later instructed investigators he “was in the area and was trying to get involved.”

Wielding an 8-inch aluminum flashlight bolstered with a pointed finish to shatter automobile glass, Brown jumped out of his state police automobile and started bashing Bowman on his head and physique inside two seconds of “initial contact” – unleashing 18 strikes in 24 seconds, detectives wrote in an investigative report.

“Give me your f—— hands!” the trooper shouted. “I ain’t messing with you.”

Bowman tried to elucidate a number of instances that he was a dialysis affected person, had performed nothing flawed and wasn’t resisting, saying, “I’m not fighting you, you’re fighting me.”

Brown responded with: “Shut the f– up!” and “You ain’t listening.”

Bowman later may be heard moaning, nonetheless on the bottom. “I’m bleeding!” he mentioned. “They hit me in the head with a flashlight!”

Brown, 31, later mentioned Bowman had struck a deputy and that the blows had been “pain compliance” supposed to get Bowman into handcuffs. Investigators who reviewed Brown’s video months after the very fact decided his use of power was not cheap or vital.

Brown didn’t reply to a number of messages in search of remark.

Bowman, 46, denied hitting anybody and isn’t seen on the video being violent with officers. However he nonetheless faces a listing of fees, together with battery of a police officer, resisting an officer and the site visitors violation for which he was initially stopped, improper lane utilization.

Brown not solely did not report his use of power however mislabeled his footage as a “citizen encounter” in what investigators referred to as “an intentional attempt to hide the video from any administrative review.”

Bowman’s protection lawyer, Keith Whiddon, mentioned he was initially instructed there was no body-camera video.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana mentioned the video was additional impetus for federal authorities to conduct a so-called “pattern and practice” investigation of the state police.

“In the absence of federal oversight, LSP will continue to put Louisianans at risk of constitutional rights violations,” mentioned the group’s government director, Alanah Odoms.

Robert Tew, the district lawyer in Monroe, declined to debate Brown’s case or something to do with the state police. “We’ll see what the DOJ has to do,” he mentioned throughout a quick interview exterior his residence.

Bowman himself hadn’t seen the footage till lately, when prosecutors from the U.S. Justice Division confirmed it to him and his civil lawyer.

“I kept thinking I was going to die that night,” Bowman instructed the AP via tears in a latest interview. (*2*)

“I don’t want nobody to go through that.”