Louisiana prosecutors just dismissed the charges against three state police troopers in connection to the brutal beating of a Black motorist – despite the vile text messages they shared joking about the incident.
In 2020, Antonio Harris was pulled over by Louisiana State Troopers for a minor traffic violation. However, after outstanding warrants were discovered, Harris took off leading to a 29-mile police chase, according to NPR. Harris was finally stopped after his tires hit a spike-strip. However, after surrendering to the authorities, body camera footage shows him being slapped in the face. An internal affairs investigation found one officer turned off his camera and what followed was Harris being beaten with a flashlight, having his hair pulled and more brutal strikes to his head and body.
Harris recalled being “kneed in the face” and said one officer “squeezed his eyes.” He told investigators he was being ordered to stop resisting but never was. The three officers, former state troopers Jacob Brown, Dakota DeMoss and George Harper, were charged with misdemeanor simple battery.
If you thought that was bad, just read what the officers joked about in their messages.
Read more from The Associated Press:
“He gonna be sore tomorrow for sure,” Trooper Jacob Brown, who was charged in the case and resigned Wednesday, texted three of his colleagues. “Warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man.”
The troopers produced “wholly untrue” reports saying Harris was resisting and continuing to flee, the filings say, and they sought to conceal from investigators that there was bodycam video. They also exchanged 14 text messages peppered with “lol” and “haha” responses in which they boasted about the beating and mocked Harris.
“BET he wont run from a full grown bear again,” Brown wrote.
“Bet he don’t even cross into LA anymore,” DeMoss responded, who earlier jeered that Harris was “still digesting that ass whoopin.”
Without much explanation, District Attorney Penny Douciere dismissed the charges against Brown and DeMoss back in November and then announced Friday her plans to dismiss the charges against the third musketeer, Harper.
This is the latest blow Harris has taken in his fight for justice. The Justice Department did not file any civil rights charges against the officers after a federal grand jury heard the evidence. It’s unclear what legal action Harris will take now.