By Daniel Beauregard | Aug 1, 2018

Two Texas residents recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court of the Western District of Louisiana accusing a Marksville police officer and Avoyelles Parish sheriff's deputies of using excessive force in the wrongful death of their brother.

Don and Antonio Frank filed the suit July 27 alleging civil rights violations and excessive force that resulted in the untimely death of their brother, Armando Frank.

The filing said the incident stems from an arrest involving Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Deputies Spillman and Alexander, whose first names aren’t mentioned in the complaint, and Marksville Police Officer Kenneth Parnell. Sheriff Doug Anderson and the city of Marksville are also named as defendants in the complaint.

According to the complaint, the incident occurred on Oct. 20, 2017, in a Walmart parking lot.

“As Frank was sitting on his tractor in the parking lot, he was approached by Parnell and Spillman about an outstanding arrest warrant they had been made aware of that day by a confidential informant,” the complaint states.

Alexander reportedly arrived after the incident had already begun.

When Frank asked to see the warrant, he was told that he could see it at the station, then ordered down from the tractor. The complaint states that the incident escalated, causing one of the officers to mount the tractor and begin choking Frank while the others repeatedly shocked Frank using a Taser. 

“The manner of death was ruled a homicide by the pathologist in the autopsy,” the complaint states.

According to the autopsy, Frank’s death was the result of the improper application of a rear naked chokehold, as well as the repeated electrical shocks administered to him.

“Despite the plaintiff’s obvious distress, including gasping and heavy breathing, no attempts were made by defendants to improve his airway or give him CPR until EMS arrived, long too late to save Frank,” the filing said.

The suit was filed by attorney Joseph J. Long and requests unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees.

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