ACLU of Louisiana supports lawsuit's quest for accountability in police shooting

By Carrie Bradon | Feb 28, 2019

WAITING FOR IMAGE OF HEBERT

BATON ROUGE – A man who was arrested in August after a traffic stop has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the Baton Rouge Police Department is guilty of numerous wrongdoings, including violation of his constitutional rights and putting his life in danger by making him the subject of a manhunt. 

Raheem Howard filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against defendants that included the officer involved in the August incident, Yuseff Hamadeh, and other police department officials, and article posted on TheAdvocate.com said.

Hamadeh accused Howard of fleeing a traffic stop and shooting at the officer, though it was later discovered that Howard did not have a gun at the time of the incident and the only shots fired had come from Hamadeh's gun, the article said. 

ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms Hebert recently talked about the incident with the Louisiana Record and discussed what should be done to ensure that such occurrences are not allowed to continue.

"Officer Yuseff Hamadeh discharged his weapon against an unarmed motorist, his body and dash cameras were deactivated, and he offered false testimony in an attempt to obtain a conviction against Mr. Howard," Hebert said. 

Hebert said Hamadeh had been involved in other shooting-related incidents, which only adds to the plaintiff's allegations of wrongdoing by the police department. 

"Hamadeh was also involved in the death of Jordan Frazier in 2017," Herbert said. "For this reason, we insist on meaningful oversight mechanisms to make sure complaints against officers are thoroughly investigated and proper remedial steps taken."  

The ACLU of Louisiana is dedicated to ensuring that constitutional rights are upheld and they believe that this incident is a clear violation of those rights.

"The Fourth Amendment protects our right to be free from 'unreasonable searches and seizures' – including excessive use of force and deadly force by the police," Hebert said. "We wholeheartedly support Raheem Howard's quest for greater accountability from the Baton Rouge Police Department – and justice for the people it serves."

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