Louisiana Record

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office accused of wrongful death in shooting of handcuffed man in police cruiser

By Louisiana Record reports | May 4, 2015

LAFAYETTE – A lawsuit accusing members of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office of shooting and beating a handcuffed man leading to his death has been filed.

Shandell Marie Bradley, on behalf of her minor child, filed suit against Louis M. Ackal, Sheriff of Iberia Parish, individually and in his official capacity, John Ortis, individually and in his official capacity, and their insurer in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on Feb. 27.

Bradley, who filed the suit on behalf of her minor daughter, claims her daughter’s father Victor White III and a friend were detained by employees of Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis M. Ackal after a fight occurred at a convenience store they had visited. The plaintiff alleges that during the detainment Ortis, who was working as a deputy sheriff, found marijuana on White and placed him into custody in the back of a police cruiser.

Bradley contends the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office reportedly later found that White, while his hands were still handcuffed behind his back in the back of a police cruiser, shot himself in the back with a handgun–a wound from which he later died. The plaintiff asserts an autopsy conducted by the Louisiana State Police contradicted the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office account, finding White had been shot in the chest and that just prior to his death he had suffered scratches and contusions on his face and a wound to his left eye prior to the shooting. Bradley claims deputies working for the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office beat White and then killed him.

The defendant is accused of excessive force, assault and battery, police negligence, wrongful death, violating the deceased’s civil rights, gross negligence, reckless disregard for safety, breach of constitutional rights, subjecting people to unreasonable seizure and force, selecting and retain employees with a propensity towards violence and failing to adequately discipline officers in involved in the misconduct.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for survival action, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss wages, emotional distress, funeral expenses, burial expenses and punitive damages.

Bradley is represented by attorneys Carol D. Powell, of Monroe, and Benjamin L. Crump, of Tallahassee, Fla.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Rebecca F. Doherty.

Case no. 6:15-cv-00459.

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