Graphic body camera video kept secret for more than two years shows a Louisiana State Police trooper pummeling a Black motorist 18 times with a flashlight — an attack the trooper defended as “pain compliance.”
“I’m not resisting! I'm not resisting!” Aaron Larry Bowman can be heard screaming between blows on the footage obtained by The Associated Press. The May 2019 beating following a traffic stop left him with a broken jaw, three broken ribs, a broken wrist and a gash to his head that required six staples to close.
Bowman's encounter near his Monroe home came less than three weeks after troopers from the same embattled agency punched, stunned and dragged another Black motorist, Ronald Greene, before he died in police custody on a rural roadside in northeast Louisiana. Video of Greene’s death similarly remained under wraps before AP obtained and published it earlier this year.
Federal prosecutors are examining both cases in a widening investigation into police brutality and potential cover-ups involving both troopers and state police brass.
State police didn’t investigate the attack on Bowman until 536 days after it occurred — even though it was captured on body camera — and only did so weeks after Bowman brought a civil lawsuit.
The agency did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the video.
Bowman’s beating was carried out by Jacob Brown, a white trooper who, before resigning in March, tallied 23 use-of-force incidents dating to 2015 — 19 of them targeting Black people, according to state police records.
Aside from the federal investigation, Brown faces state charges of second-degree battery and malfeasance in Bowman’s beating. He also faces state charges in two other violent arrests of Black motorists, including one he boasted 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.”
On the night Bowman was pulled over for a traffic violation, Brown came upon the scene after deputies had forcibly removed Bowman from his vehicle and taken him to the ground. The trooper later told investigators he “was in the area and was trying to get involved.”
Wielding an 8-inch aluminum flashlight reinforced with a pointed end to shatter car glass, Brown jumped out of his state police vehicle and began bashing Bowman on his head and body within two seconds of “initial contact" — unleashing 18 strikes in 24 seconds, detectives wrote in an investigative report.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.