Police Department: Thibodaux Police Department
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and Fish & Richardson P.C. are representing Mr. Yohann Jackson—a Black man suffering from palsy—in a civil rights action against several officers from the Thibodaux, Louisiana Police Department and the City of Thibodaux.
This case arises from an encounter Mr. Jackson had with officers from the Thibodaux Police Department on August 15, 2020. Mr. Jackson’s complaint describes how the officers used unreasonable force to detain him. Officer Snow came to Mr. Jackson’s home in response to a disturbance related to a complaint about a missing debit card. Officer Snow banged on Mr. Jackson’s front door and, after smelling the odor of marijuana, demanded that Mr. Jackson reveal the location of the marijuana. Officers Braud and Lebouef arrived to the scene as backup. Having previously been harassed and stalked by Thibodaux Police Officers, Mr. Jackson was fearful of being injured by Officers Snow, Braud, and Lebouef.
Mr. Jackson tried to cooperate peacefully with the officers. He informed them that he had “cerebral palsy.” He told them that his condition meant that he has a weakened right arm and that his arm could not bend at certain angles. And he said that he did not want any trouble and that the three officers could enter his home to investigate. Then, as Mr. Jackson went to unlock the front door with his keys, Officer Snow grabbed and jerked him by his weakened right arm. Still trying to comply with the officers, Mr. Jackson handed Officer Snow the keys to his home. After receiving the keys, Officer Snow, along with Officers Braud and Lebouef forcefully detained Mr. Jackson. Officer Snow again grabbed, jerked, and twisted Mr. Jackson’s weakened right arm behind his back. He tugged forcefully on Mr. Jackson’s right arm and caused Mr. Jackson extreme pain as he felt his shoulder and right bicep muscles tear. Officers Braud and Lebouef together grabbed and restrained him by his head, neck, and left arm. One of the officers even inserted a finger into Mr. Jackson’s right ear and pulled so hard that Mr. Jackson felt as though parts of his outer ear had been ripped open. While he was being brutally detained, Mr. Jackson protested the officers’ actions and stated repeatedly that they were injuring him and that he had “cerebral palsy.” Throughout this entire time, Mr. Jackson did not pose any real or apparent threat to anyone’s safety.
During the struggle, a local business owner and acquaintance of Mr. Jackson arrived at the scene and saw the three officers twisting Mr. Jackson’s arms. After telling the officers that Mr. Jackson’s right arm “can’t bend like that,” and being instructed by Officer Snow not to step closer, he returned back to his shop across the street. Shortly thereafter, Officers Braud and Lebouef left the scene, and Officer Snow used two pairs of handcuffs to restrain Mr. Jackson. The handcuffs were applied to Mr. Jackson’s wrists and arms too tightly and caused Mr. Jackson additional harm, including bruising and cuts on his wrists and arms.
Officer Snow then ordered Mr. Jackson to sit on his front porch. Mr. Jackson, continuing to fear for his safety and well-being, complied and prayed for his life. At this time, Officer Snow contacted Officer Guidry to assist him at the scene. Once Officer Guidry arrived, Officer Snow began to search Mr. Jackson’s home while Officer Guidry stood outside and watched over Mr. Jackson. After about five minutes of inspecting the home, Officer Snow exited, and together with Officer Guidry, grabbed Mr. Jackson and moved him towards a police car. To get him into the car, Officer Guidry pushed and kicked Mr. Jackson, causing Mr. Jackson’s right leg to hit the side of the car and his head to slam against a metal plate inside the car.
Because of the officers’ wrongful conduct in using excessive force against Mr. Jackson, the complaint alleges that all of the officers involved, as well as the City of Thibodaux, should be held liable for the significant physical and emotional injuries he suffered.
The defendants named in the complaint are:
- Officer Shawn Snow
- Officer Simon Braud
- Officer Devon Lebouef
- Officer Jory Guidry
- City of Thibodaux