Orleans Parish Sheriff sued for alleged police brutality and civil rights violations after man is mistaken as an escaped prisoner

By Holland Phillips | Dec 12, 2013

NEW ORLEANS— A man is suing the Sheriff and an unnamed Sheriff’s Deputy for injuries he suffered while being detained during a search for an escaped inmate.

Stanley M. Leblanc filed suit against Marlin N. Gusman as Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff and a Sheriff’s deputy, and their insurance company in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The plaintiff’s petition for damages states that the plaintiff and others were under the I-610 overpass in October 2012 when they were surrounded and accosted by a group of Sheriff’s deputies. When the plaintiff was complying with an officer’s orders to place his hands on a nearby truck and provide identification, “during a profanity-laced tirade, an unknown deputy hit the plaintiff in the face, head, neck and jaw; slammed the plaintiff against a truck tailgate; used a chokehold on him and then handcuffed him.” Leblanc claims that he was then kicked and forced to the ground despite informing the officer that he could not kneel due to a prior knee surgery. Upon release, Leblanc found out that the deputies were searching for an escaped inmate.

The defendants are accused of gross and flagrant recklessness, carelessness, acts and omissions, negligence and fault for practices unbecoming that allegedly caused physical and emotional injury the plaintiff in terms of public ridicule, humiliation, embarrassment, brutal and unnecessary force on a person willing to cooperate, violation of civil rights, denial of liberty and pursuit of happiness and mistaken identity.

An undisclosed amount is sought for pain and suffering, emotional distress, attorneys’ fees, court costs, loss of pursuit of happiness, loss of enjoyment of life and medical expenses.

Leblanc is represented by Pius A. Obioha of the Law Offices of Pius A. Obioha & Associates LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division M Judge Paulette R. Irons.

Case no. 2013-09689.

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