Four white Louisiana state troopers joked over text about beating a Black man and bragged that their “whoopin” would give the man “nightmares for a long time,” new court documents show.
Trooper Jacob Brown, who resigned on Wednesday (March 10), texted his coworkers, “He gonna be sore tomorrow for sure” after beating 29-year-old Antonio Harris. “Warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man,” Brown added, according to the court filing.
Last May, Brown pulled Harris over for a minor traffic violation while driving on Interstate 20 in Richland Parish. According to State Police, Harris got back into his car and fled, leading to a 29-mile high-speed police chase. Sheriff's deputies deployed a “tire deflation device,” causing Harris to veer off into a ditch.
An internal investigation showed that Harris “immediately surrendered” and laid face-down on the pavement once troopers arrived. The first responding trooper, Dakota DeMoss — who was also involved in the death of Ronald Greene — “delivered a knee strike” to Harris and slapped him before turning off his body-worn camera.
Another trooper, George Harper, punched Harris repeatedly in the head while holding a flashlight in his fist. According to court records, Harper also threatened to “punish” Harris while Brown pulled on his hair.
After the beating, the troopers produced a “wholly untrue” report claiming that Harris resisted arrest. State Police found this to be false and said, “At no time did Harris resist arrest.” The troopers also tried to hide the fact that there was body camera footage from the beating from investigators and joked about the incident over text.
“BET he won't run from a full grown bear again,” Brown wrote.
“Bet he don’t even cross into LA anymore,” DeMoss responded, adding that Harris was “still digesting that ass whoopin.”
“He gonna spread the word that’s for damn sure,” Harper replied.
Brown, DeMoss and Harper have all since been charged in connection with the assault. Brown is also facing unrelated charges stemming from two other incidents of excessive force.