A Louisiana State Trooper was charged with battery on Thursday after allegedly kicking a handcuffed teenager in the head then picking him up and shattering a car window by slamming the teen’s head against it. According to a surveillance video and police body cameras, the handcuffed teenager was not resisting when the trooper suddenly used excessive force without provocation.
On February 11, Trooper John Neal spotted a vehicle recently reported stolen and confronted the occupants. An unidentified 19-year-old male fled on foot but was detained two blocks away by other troopers in the area.
Lying facedown on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back, the teen remained prone and was not resisting when Trooper Neal arrived a few moments later, abruptly kicking the detained suspect in the head for no justifiable reason. Recorded on a civilian surveillance camera and police body cam videos, Neal forced the teen to stand before escorting him to a patrol car and slamming his head through a rear window, causing the glass to shatter. According to police, the unreleased body cam footage was recorded by Neal’s own body camera and another trooper at the scene.
Following his arrest, the teen was transported to University Medical Center where he received treatment for minor injuries. Shortly after the hospital released him, the teen was booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail on possession of a stolen automobile, resisting an officer, and littering.
After investigating footage and witness reports, detectives determined that Neal had been unjustified in his use of excessive force. On Thursday, Neal was arrested and charged with one count of simple battery.
Currently out on bond, Neal remains on forced leave.
Although not official policy, many law enforcement officers adhere to an unwritten rule demanding that any suspect who flees must receive a beating. Recent examples of police officers caught on video using excessive force against fleeing suspects who had already surrendered include Francis Pusok, Elizardo Saenz, and Richard Simone Jr.