Police Department: Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C., are representing Nathan Durapau in a civil rights action against various officers from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Mr. Durapau’s complaint describes how, on June 16, 2020, at the conclusion of a protest against police brutality, he was violently arrested and deposited into the back of an unmarked and gutted van. The officers then took Mr. Durapau on a wild high-speed joyride, during which one of the officers began beating him, repeatedly punching and slapping him in the face, all while Mr. Durapau’s hands were restrained behind his back by handcuffs. At no point did the officers use seat belts to secure Mr. Durapau in the van, and both he and the officers had difficulty maintaining their balance as the van careened about wildly. Then, while the van was still moving and without warning, one of the officers pulled out a knife. Mr. Durapau feared that the officer would stab him—either intentionally or simply by losing his balance as the van continued its reckless path.
After a fast-paced, five-minute ride, the van came to a halt. Upon exiting the van, Mr. Durapau realized he was at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office—within a stone’s throw of where he was arrested. The officers’ joyride was no direct trip to the Sherriff’s Office, but instead a deliberately extended excursion to allow for the assault to happen shielded from view.
As a result of the officers’ unjustified brutality, Mr. Durapau suffered painful physical injuries, including a broken nose. Mr. Durapau experienced pain and breathing problems, which he continues to suffer. He has also experienced severe emotional distress as a result of the violent conduct of the defendants. The complaint charges two of the arresting officers and various unknown officers with using excessive force in violation of Mr. Durapau’s Fourth Amendment rights, as well as with various state claims including assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The complaint seeks damages for the physical and emotional harm that Mr. Durapau suffered from the use of excessive force against him.
The defendants named in the complaint are:
- Justin K. McLin
- Keiwana S. Wilkinson
- Various unknown officers of Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office