A group of Louisiana state troopers joked in text messages about brutalizing a black man after they arrested him following a high-speed chase, saying they’d given him ‘a whoopin’ he wouldn’t forget.
The three troopers involved in the incident were arrested last month for allegedly using excessive force in the May 2020 arrest of 29-year-old Antonio Harris, the Washington Post reported.
A fourth trooper in the same unit also was arrested for a separate allegedly racially motivated incident.
Their arrests come as federal civil rights probe has been opened focusing on the Louisiana state patrol’s ‘Troop F,’ which also had a black man in 2019 die while he was in the custody.
In the incident last year, trooper Jacob Brown said: ‘LOL he was still digesting that a** whoopin,’ in a text to Dakota DeMoss, according to the arrest warrant obtained by The Advocate. They had just arrested Harris after he led them on a high-speed chase.
‘He gonna be sore tomorrow for sure,’ responded Brown. ‘LMAO … warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man.’
From left to right: Jacob Brown, Randall Dickerson, George Harper, and Dakota DeMoss
An arrest warrant for DeMoss was filed last week, which helped unseal the texts about the May 2020 incident, which also included troopers Brown and George Harper.
Investigators determined that excessive force was used in the incident after reviewing bodycam footage and that Brown allegedly lied about the suspect resisting arrest.
Brown was conducting a traffic stop on a driver who had drifted over the fog line. After running the driver’s plates, Brown learned there were outstanding warrants stemming from gun and escape charges.
While calling for backup, the suspect fled, leading to a 29-mile chase, reaching speeds of 150mph before the chase ended with the use of spike strips.
Brown claimed that the driver fled on foot and refused to place his hands behind his back when stopped, leading to a struggle with troopers.
‘Tactical strikes’ were then used on the suspect, per Brown’s report.
The Louisiana State Police has been accused of several acts of excessive force in recent years (Pictured: State police headquarters)
Bodycam footage, however, showed that the suspect immediately surrendered after leaving his vehicle, yet DeMoss hit the suspect with his knee and slapped him in the face before turning off his bodycam, according to the Advocate.
Harper then allegedly hit the suspect in the head multiple times while Brown pulled his hair. DeMoss also grabbed the suspect by his hair after a search was conducted.
‘I hope you act up when we get to the f****** jail,’ Harper then said to the suspect. ‘I am going to punish you, dumb b****. What the f*** is wrong with you.’
DeMoss and Harper received counseling the month following the May 2020 incident and a warning from a supervisor. They are now on administrative leave.
Meanwhile, Randall Dickerson, a trooper accused with Brown of excessive force in another traffic stop, is also on leave. Dickerson also was arrested.
One incident of alleged excessive force left a Black man, Ronald Greene, dead (stock pictured)
DeMoss, Harper, and Dickerson have filed a lawsuit to stop the investigations taking place into them, alleging the investigations weren’t launched within 14 days of officials becoming aware of incidents involving them.
A judge temporarily sided with the troopers and is expected to make a final decision next week.
Brown has since resigned from the state police force. He has reportedly been arrested three separate times in relation to traffic stops where he allegedly used excessive force against black men, according to the Advocate.
‘This further shows that there is a cultural problem with State Police, in particular at Troop F,’ said Ron Haley, who is representing two plaintiffs in lawsuits following other incidents.
‘The fact that it has taken almost two years for even one ounce of accountability is extremely disturbing. Why has it taken so long?’
In another incident in May 2019, Brown allegedly beat his victim with a flashlight, which caused broken ribs, a fractured arm, and deep cuts to the victim’s head.
That led to a lawsuit from the victim, Aaron Bowman, filed against Louisiana’s State Police.
And Ronald Greene, the victim of another incident, allegedly died in police custody in May 2019 per a lawsuit. He was under the supervision of officers also from Troop F.
The police initially claimed Greene died as the result of a car crash chase. DeMoss was allegedly involved in that incident.
Col. Kevin Reeves, a former member of Troop F, resigned as State Police superintendent in the fall.
‘We see that a trust has been broken because the people, as we speak, believed in the state troopers because they are the elite of the elite,’ President of the Ouachita Parish Branch of the NAACP Ambrose Douzart said to KNOE.