After pleading guilty to a civil rights charge of using excessive force while arresting a Black man in 2020, a former Louisiana police officer faces up to ten years in prison.
Authorities said Jared Preston Desadier, 44, kicked Timothy Williams in the face and head during the April 2020 arrest in Ouachita Parish, according to the Monroe News-Star. On July 1, the former cop entered into a plea agreement.
Desadier was indicted by a grand jury last October. He was charged with willfully depriving an individual of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure and witness tampering on two counts. “In court, Desadier admitted that his assault on the victim was unjustified because the man posed no threat to any officer or other person on the scene.” Desadier also admitted that he “knew at the time that his actions were unjustified and unreasonable under the circumstances,” according to the Department of Justice.
During the assault, Desadier, who was on duty at the time, is said to have injured Williams. According to authorities, Desadier kicked Williams in the head and face while he was in handcuffs and on the ground. He was not resisting either.
In the statement, Assistant Attorney General Clarke said, “Instead of lawfully carrying out his sworn duties as a law enforcement officer, Desadier abused his authority by assaulting and injuring an arrestee who was not a threat.” “The Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute any officer who violates the public trust by using excessive force without justification.”
“I commend our law-abiding local police officers for their service to our respective communities,” U.S. Attorney Brown added.
“Unfortunately, there are a few police officers who are not law-abiding. We will prosecute police officers zealously and without hesitation if they commit crimes in violation of federal criminal civil rights statutes that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a federal court of law. This officer’s actions are inexcusable, and undermine public trust in law enforcement, and must be held accountable. The United States Attorney’s Office is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and protecting the civil rights of all people present in the Western District of Louisiana, with the goal of restoring and building public trust in local, state, and federal law enforcement.”
According to the Department of Justice, Desadier, who is scheduled to be sentenced on November 21, faces up to ten years in prison and three years of supervised release. In addition, he faces a fine of up to $250,000.
In response to the plea agreement, one of Williams’ attorneys, Donecia Banks-Miley, told the Monroe News-Star that while they are pleased with the progress of the case, they are dissatisfied with the terms of the plea agreement. She also stated that Williams was saddened by the plea agreement.
“These are life-long tragedies that he must deal with,” said Banks-Miley. “The trauma is genuine. It is our job as attorneys to keep him motivated and to show him what is possible in the justice system. However, with this offender kicking him in the face as if he’s playing football, it’s difficult to maintain faith when he’s only going to plead to one count.”
Banks-Miley expressed their displeasure with Desadier being the only officer implicated in the assault, despite the fact that other Monroe Police officers were present at the scene.
“I ask, ‘Are you actively investigating these other officers?’” said Banks-Miley.
“‘Not at this time,’ I was told. There isn’t enough evidence.’ Other videos will corroborate what happened that night when Timothy complained to the supervisor and several officers on the scene, but nothing was done. They laughed, mocked, and made fun of him. We only have one man, Jared Desadier, to stand here and take responsibility for the entire police department. That does not sit well with us.”