CASE #43 – Asante-Chioke v. Dowdle et al.

Parish: Jefferson

Police Department(s): 

  • Louisiana State Police;
  • and the East Jefferson Levee District Police Department

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is now representing Malikah Asante-Chioke, the daughter of Jabari Asante-Chioke – a man suffering from severe mental illness who was shot twenty-four times by police officers employed by Louisiana State Police and the East Jefferson Levee District Police Department.

On November 21, 2021 Mr. Asante-Chioke, a 52-year-old Black man, was spotted by a concerned citizen at the intersection of Airline Drive and North Causeway Boulevard in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Mr. Asante-Chioke was visibly distressed and was traveling along the highway on foot carrying in his hands what was later identified as a gun and a knife. The passer-by who saw Mr. Asante-Chioke thought he might be experiencing a mental health crisis and subsequently flagged down a police officer directing traffic around a nearby construction site.

What happened next was a tragedy that ended in a firing squad when Louisiana State Police and East Jefferson Levee District Police officers shot Mr. Asante-Chioke over twenty-four times. The ill-trained, ill-disciplined, and ill-supervised officers failed to de-escalate the encounter and failed to use less-than-lethal methods in accordance with their training and with state and federal law to subdue Mr. Asante-Chioke. The shooting was an unjustifiably excessive application of deadly force, with many of the gunshots suffered by Mr. Asante-Chioke impacting him after he was disarmed, heavily wounded, and incapacitated. Mr. Asante-Chioke’s weapon was unloaded. He never fired a shot.

This is just one more example of how police encounters with people of color often end with fatal shootings, and quick police officers are to use deadly force when people of color are involved. LSP is currently under a “a pattern and practice” investigation by the United States Department of Justice for engaging in racially motivated and discriminatory policing and excessive force. The Complaint brings 42 USC Section 1983 excessive force, wrongful death, and negligence claims against the officers, as well as a negligent supervision and training claim against the Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, Colonel Lamar A. Davis, the Chief of the East Jefferson Levee District Police, Robert Garner, and the State of Louisiana. The case is currently pending before the Eastern District Court of Louisiana.

The defendants in this case are:

  • Nicholas Dowdle, Louisiana State Police Officer.
  • Jonathon Downing, East Jefferson Levee District Police Officer.
  • Gerard Duplessis, East Jefferson Levee District Police Officer.
  • Col. Lamar A. Duplessis, Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police.
  • Chief Robert Garner, Chief of the East Jefferson Levee District Police Department.
  • The State of Louisiana through the Department of Public Safety & Corrections

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