Gruesome body camera footage kept secret for more than two years has now been exposed. The body camera shows a Louisiana State trooper beating a Black motorist with a flashlight. The cop struck him 18 times. He defended his actions as “pain compliance.”
“I’m not resisting! I’m not resisting!” Aaron Larry Bowman cried between blows. The May 2019 beating began as a routine traffic stop. Instead of leaving him with a ticket, the traffic stop left the victim with a broken jaw, three broken ribs, a broken wrist, and a gash in his head that required six staples to close.
Police Brutality in Monroe, Louisiana
Bowman’s horrific encounter near his Monroe home came only weeks after troopers from the same organization stunned and dragged Black motorist, Ronald Greene. In rural northeast Louisiana, Greene died in police custody. Much like the body camera footage of Bowman’s brutal encounter, the video of Greene’s death was also kept under wraps before being obtained and published earlier this year by the Associated Press. Both cases are under investigation, and prosecutors are investigating possible cover-ups by troopers and state police.
Investigating possible cover-ups by Law Enforcement.
It took the state police 536 days to investigate Bowman’s attack, despite the fact that the incident was captured on his body camera. It wasn’t until weeks after he filed a civil lawsuit that the police investigated. Some are calling this a racially motivated miscarriage of justice.
In a statement released Wednesday, the state police said Jacob Brown, the white trooper who brutalized Bowman, “engaged in excessive and unjustifiable actions,” failed to notify his supervisors about the use of force, and “intentionally mislabeled” his body camera video.
State police records show that Brown logged 23 incidents involving excessive force, 19 of which targeted Blacks before he resigned in March.
Brown Brazenly Bragged about Beating other Blacks
In addition to the federal investigation, Brown faces state charges of second-degree battery and malfeasance in the brutality against Bowman. State charges are also pending against him for two other violent arrests of Black motorists, including one he viciously bragged about last year in a group chat with other troopers, saying the suspect is “gonna be sore” and “it warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man.”
Police Brutality: The Details of a Gruesome Beating
After Bowman was forcibly removed from his vehicle and taken to the ground by deputies the night that he was pulled over for a traffic violation, Brown came upon the scene. Investigators were informed later by the trooper that he, “was in the area and was trying to get involved.”
With an 8-inch aluminum flashlight fortified with a pointed end to shatter car-window glass, Brown lept out of his vehicle and started bashing Bowman on his head within less than 3 seconds of “initial contact” — landing 18 strikes in 24 seconds, detectives wrote in an investigative report.
“Give me your f—— hands!” the trooper bellowed. “I ain’t messing with you.”
Bowman struggled desperately to convey many times to convey three points: that he was a dialysis patient, that he had not committed any wrongful action, and that he wasn’t resisting. Bowman can be heard saying “I’m not fighting you, you’re fighting me.”
Brown only came back with: “Shut the f—- up!” and “You ain’t listening.”
Sometime later Bowman can be heard moaning, while stretched out on the ground. “I’m bleeding!” he wailed. “They hit me in the head with a flashlight!”
Brown allegedly Lies while Bowman tells the Truth
31-year-old Brown said Bowman assaulted a deputy, and that striking him was a form of pain compliance in an effort to get him in handcuffs. 46-year-old Bowman responded in his own defense by stating what the camera showed, that he did not hit anyone at any time. Bowman is on the video being nonviolent with officers. Although the video shows he is not guilty of what Brown claimed Bowman still faces a litany of charges, including battery of a police officer, resisting an officer, and the initial traffic violation he was stopped for, improper lane usage.
Brown Mislabels his Camera Footage
Additionally, Brown failed to report his use of force and mislabeled his video as a “citizen encounter” in what investigators called “an intentional attempt to hide the video from any administrative review.”
Keith Whiddon, Bowman’s defense attorney, said he initially was told there was no body-camera video.
Louisiana’s American Civil Liberties Union said the video gave federal authorities more reason to conduct a “pattern and practice” investigation of state police.