NEW ORLEANS – An Avondale woman is suing the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office alleging that she was assaulted by police officers, and that several of her constitutional rights were violated.
Stephanie Rebecca Bukaske and several family members filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on Jan. 19 against Sheriff Newell Norman of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office, along with several other identified officers, and 30 officers not yet identified by name. The suit claims the family’s First, Fourth, Ninth and 14th Amendment rights were violated. Additionally, several other claims were made including false imprisonment, assault and battery and deliberate indifference (refusal and withholding medical aid). They are demanding this case go to trial.
Court documents state that on Jan. 17, 2015, Bukaske and several other family members were relaxing at home, when the police showed up suddenly. Officers allegedly entered the home and property without permission. From that point, the police proceeded to make arrests, but one officer, Deputy Andre Nelson, allegedly battered Bukaske by violently throwing her against a shed in the back of the property.
The documents go on to state that while Nelson was arresting Bukaske he broke her arm and then refused to help her. According to the suit, someone had contacted EMS, but when they arrived on the scene, they were told by Nelson and other accompanying deputies that Bukaske was not hurt and that “they should leave.” They allegedly obliged without examining Bukaske.
Bukaske never received medical attention and was taken to jail where she was housed for two days, according to the court documents.
According to the police report, officers arrived at the Bukaske family home to conduct a deposition check. They attained the address by checking the license plates of the vehicle given in a description by a Winn Dixie store manager, who alleged an unknown white male had shoplifted a case of Heineken beer. The report written by Nelson states that upon arrival they observed a male fitting the description provided by the store manager, the suit states. It goes on to state that Stephanie Bukaske was allegedly seen trying to flee and that she injured her arm resisting arrest.
The family, who witnessed the incident, are all suing for compensatory and punitive damages, individually, for an amount to be determined by the court. They are represented by Samuel S. Dalton and Adam Whitley-Sebti.
The trial started on Jan. 27.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-00459-NJB-DEK