NEW ORLEANS – The ACLU of Louisiana released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the indictment of former DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office (DPSO) deputy Javarrea Pouncy, and the related guilty plea of former deputy Demarkes Grant. Both former deputies brutally attacked Justice Lab client Jarius Brown after he was arrested for nonviolent vehicle offenses in 2019.
“With the Department of Justice’s indictment of former DPSO officer Pouncy and the concurrent guilty plea of officer Grant for the brutal beating of Jarius Brown, there remains no question that Mr. Brown’s constitutional rights were violated when he suffered a brutal beating at the hands of officer Grant while being held in DPSO detention.
"Yet, while officer Grant’s guilty plea and the indictment of officer Pouncy confirm the essential facts that Mr. Brown was the victim of violent police misconduct, Louisiana is blocking Mr. Brown from seeking justice and accountability for what happened to him in September 2019. Louisiana is one of only three states that limit victims to just one year to file a lawsuit for unconstitutional policing, regardless of the extent of injuries, recovery, or obstructive tactics employed by law enforcement to keep victims from using the legal process to fight for accountability. All victims of police brutality deserve the same amount of time in which to bring a claim against their attackers - one year is simply not enough.
"We look forward to arguing this point at the Fifth Circuit on October 4, 2023, on behalf of Jarius Brown’s right to seek justice, and countless other individuals in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee who are now being locked out of the courthouse doors.”
"The statute of limitations affects thousands of people across Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee – people like Mr. Brown, whose trauma and circumstances resulting from police brutality prohibit filing a federal civil rights lawsuit within a year’s time frame. Several organizations have filed amicus briefs in this case, in support of standardizing the statute of limitations and removing it as an often insurmountable barrier for victims of police violence, including the Law Enforcement Action Project, the National Police Accountability Project, the Orleans Public Defenders, and Public Justice."
Argument will be heard on Mr. Jarius Brown’s case on October 4, 2023 at 1:00 p.m, at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
The full DOJ announcement can be found here.