LAFAYETTE —The ACLU of Louisiana has released the following statement after a jury found that seven Lafayette Police Department officers did not engage in or fail to intervene in excessive force in their arrest of Mr. Raynaldo Sampy, a Black man who was asleep and pulled from his parked truck, repeatedly thrown onto the pavement face first, and pinned down with officers’ knees on his neck, back, and legs.

Over the course of the four-day trial, the jury watched body cam footage of the incident and heard testimony from Mr. Sampy, the officers involved, a police practices expert, and a police trainer with the Lafayette Police Department. After 1 hour of deliberation, the jury returned with its decision, finding the officers did not violate Mr. Sampy’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

The defendants in the case are officers Jonathan Price Rabb, Brandon Lamar Dugas, Segus Ramon Jolivette, Michael Nicholas Darbonne, Asher Reaux, Jordan Kamal Colla, and Ian Journet, as well as the Lafayette City Parish Consolidated Government and the Lafayette Parish Communications District.

“We respect the ladies and gentlemen of the jury who took their time in reaching this decision.  We are a nation of laws with a jury system that is entrusted to decide issues we hold so dear to our heart.  At the core of this fight is qualified immunity.  And we will continue to fight its draconian impacts that allow this conduct to go unpunished.”

Co-counsel in the case, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, added the following:

“While we are disappointed with this result, we appreciate the service of our jurors and the time and attention they spent deliberating these difficult issues.  We are also grateful to Mr. Sampy for allowing us to assist in his case, and in the ongoing attempts to bring more just policing efforts to local communities throughout our country.”