Caddo DA Answers Questions in SPD Malfeasance Cases
Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart responded to questions regarding the charging of eight Shreveport Police officers regarding their involvement in a January car chase and the resulting treatment of two suspects while in custody.
The questions came from 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Erin McCarty and were sent to District Attorney Stewart's media spokesperson John Andrew Prime:
1) I (McCarty) understand that charges against the two men stemming from the January incident were dropped. But I am told that all charges against the men - dating back to last year - have also been dropped. Is that accurate? If so, can you explain why those earlier charges were dropped?
Stewart: The only charges we dismissed in reference to this investigation were those that came out of the January arrest.
2) Why were the officers not on battery or other charges? I am gotten questions regarding ordinary citizens hitting someone in the face with a flashlight would be charged with aggravated battery. Can the malfeasance charges be changed by your office?
Stewart: Malfeasance covers all of the actions of the officers collectively, but it's possible something could change. I have no issue with the decision of the Grand Jury. They are good and honest people.
Contrary to the DA's answers, court records show that a number of charges against Chico Bell, one of the men arrested in the case, were dropped. Some of these charges go back to late 2019 and include aggravated kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute (an illegal substance). Keel's McCarty emailed the DA's office asking for an explanation regarding the apparant discrepancy. Mr. Prime responded:
Judge Stewart says that these charges were dismissed because the victims refused to cooperate. Mr. Bell has other charges pending in another file. All that is independent of the January incident, he (DA Stewart) says.
Meanwhile, Chris Bordelon of the Shreveport Police Union was critical of the Stewart and the DA's office. To read and hear what he has to say, JUST CLICK HERE!