BATON ROUGE – The sister of a deceased East Baton Rouge Parish man has filed suit against members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Department over allegations that excessive force caused the man's death.
Chiquita Spears, as representative of the estate of Travis Stevenson, filed a complaint on Feb. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sidney J. Gautreaux III, Lt. Michael Birdwell, detective Shannon Broussard, et al. alleging that they violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be free from excessive force.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that in Feb. 23, 2016, due to defendant officers' use of excessive force against plaintiff's brother Travis Stevenson, he died from multiple gunshot wounds to his head and body. The suit states that officers were responding to Stevenson's girlfriend's 911 call that Stevenson had sprayed her and her child with pepper spray and had fled the residence. According to the suit, deputies found Stevenson in his vehicle near an apartment building on Smith Street and blocked him in, and then Stephenson accelerated his vehicle to strike a deputy's SUV.
The plaintiff holds Gautreaux III, Birdwell, Broussard, et al. responsible because although purportedly no defendant deputies were in imminent danger, one or more of them allegedly fired at least 20 rounds on decedent's vehicle and directly at his head.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks award for general, punitive and exemplary damages; costs of this suit; and such other relief as the court may deem just and proper. She is represented by Michael T. Bell of Baton Rouge and J. Christopher Alexander of Baton Rouge.
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana Case number 3:17-cv-00105