Police Brutality

Family: Police brutality in death of son caught on camera

The family of a Black father in Bogalusa, Louisiana, alleges that a police beating left the 28-year old dead last year.

Family: Police brutality in death of son caught on camera
Scripps News
SMS

This police station surveillance video shows the last moments a 28-year-old Black man was alive — in police custody. 

Now, his family in Bogalusa, Louisiana, is demanding action — alleging wrongdoing even as no officers are facing charges.  

According to police, the incident began when a sheriff’s deputy spotted Eric Nelson and his son walking down the road.  

Nelson had outstanding warrants. Before taking him into custody, the deputy took Nelson and his son home and called in Bogalusa police. 

According to the Louisiana State Police official report on this incident, Nelson saw the Bogalusa Police Department turn the corner near his mother's home. He ran and police chased after him. He ran through the woods behind his mother’s house, and eventually made it to a creek nearby. That’s when police say he jumped into the creek and swam to the other side, refusing to come back to the other side. Eventually police say they had to go in after him. Police say they tased him on the legs in order to get him to comply. 

The police never activated their body camera videos. The first time we see Nelson on video was as he’s dragged out of the back of a police SUV at the station. His family’s attorney says he was unconscious. He is then dropped to the ground and his head hits the pavement. 

Preston Hemphill and Memphis Assistant Chief of Police Don Crowe

Seven officers disciplined in Tyre Nichols' death

Inaction may not warrant criminal charges in all circumstances, but the Memphis Police manual calls for a 'duty to intervene' by officers.

LEARN MORE

Several officers then drag Nelson towards the police station — laying him on the ground. The officers perform sternum rubs. His family alleges officers never attempted to perform CPR. After five minutes — paramedics arrive. The police take Nelson to the hospital — where he’s pronounced dead.  

They allege he was suffering from brain swelling, injuries to his eye, lip and forehead 

There are also three circular burn marks that the complaint says is consistent with the use of a taser on his thorax or between the neck and abdomen — not his legs as the police report cites. 

Now the department is facing growing questions about what happened in the moments not captured on video. Bogalusa, Louisiana Mayor Tyrin Throng is vowing to push for tighter body camera policies. 

The Bogalusa Police initially claimed Nelson had no injuries during his arrest, but his family disputes that. The Louisiana State Police investigated the actions of the officers. The local District Attorney found no criminal wrongdoing.

His family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several agencies, including the law enforcement officers involved and the City of Bogalusa.