Recorded on police body cam video fatally shooting an unarmed man, two Louisiana sheriff’s deputies were recently fired and arrested on manslaughter charges.
Around 2:15 a.m. on February 16, five Jefferson Parish deputies responded to a noise complaint at a “known crack house,” according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto III. During a press conference, Sheriff Lopinto said that the deputies approached Daniel Vallee, who was sitting in a parked car outside the residence with a “switched license plate” on his vehicle.
“He refused to cooperate with our officers. He refused to cooperate with them for over 12 minutes,” Lopinto told reporters.
At one point, Vallee turned the running car off and locked the doors before putting his empty hands in the air. He later started the engine before dropping his hands and touching the steering wheel, which resulted in the car horn honking.
“My opinion, that horn, whether it scares my deputy or whether my deputy reacts to the sound of the horn, ends up firing his weapon,” Lopinto said. “That in turn, the second deputy fired his weapon reacting to that gunfire.”
In response to the sound of the car horn, Deputies Issac Hughes and Johnathon Louis fired multiple shots at Vallee. The deputies found no weapons on Vallee or inside the vehicle, and Vallee died from the gunshot wounds.
Although the shooting was recorded on body cam video, the sheriff’s office has refused to release the footage to the public at this time. After reviewing the footage, the sheriff stated, “Unfortunately, we can’t justify the use of deadly force.”
On Monday, Hughes and Louis were terminated from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Lopinto confirmed that they were arrested on manslaughter charges.
Hughes had been with the department since 2013. Louis was with the department for one and a half years.