ACLU of Louisiana Responds to Guilty Plea of Former Officer Involved in Beating of Justice Lab Client

SHREVEPORT — The ACLU of Louisiana has released the following statement after former DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office (DPSO) Correctional Officer Javarrea Pouncy pled guilty to a federal civil rights violation in the beating of ACLU of Louisiana client, Mr. Jarius Brown. Mr. Pouncy faces 30-37 months imprisonment.

In 2019, Mr. Brown was arrested for a nonviolent offense. After his intake, he was led to a laundry room for a strip search. It was there that two DPSO Correctional Officers, Mr. Pouncy and Mr. DeMarkus Grant, beat Mr. Brown despite him following their instructions. Afterwards, they left Mr. Brown alone in his cell, where he was eventually discovered in urgent need of medical care and brought to a hospital. Mr. Brown was treated for a broken eye socket, broken nose, and other injuries. 

Last September, Mr. Pouncy was indicted for crimes against Mr. Brown, including unconstitutional use of force for the beating of Mr. Brown while he was detained. The other correctional officer involved in the beating, Mr. Grant, pled guilty to obstruction of justice last September. Mr. Grant’s sentencing will take place on July 18 and Mr. Pouncy’s on August 7.

“Only in Louisiana and two other states, can the circumstances be as clear cut as this, yet the victim of misconduct still be denied the opportunity to seek damages under Section 1983 for the brutality they endured. Because Mr. Brown lives in Louisiana, he was limited to just a one year statute of limitations to sue for justice for the deprivation of his federal civil rights,” said Nora Ahmed, ACLU of Louisiana legal director. “It is reassuring to see consequences that inure to the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office (DPSO), but Mr. Brown is still being denied damages for the aftermath of what Mr. Grant and Mr. Pouncy did to him that day while in DPSO custody.”

The ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab initiative seeks to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices and combat police violence against people of color through intensive litigation. As of late 2023, the Justice Lab has secured half a million dollars in awards for victims of racist policing in Louisiana.

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