A former Louisiana police officer faces up to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a civil rights charge of using excessive force while arresting a Black man in 2020.
According to Monroe News-Star, authorities said Jared Preston Desadier, 44, kicked Timothy Williams in the face and head during the April 2020 arrest in Ouachita Parish. The former police officer entered a plea agreement on July 1.
Desadier was indicted by a grand jury in October last year. He was charged with two counts of willfully depriving an individual of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure and with witness tampering.
“Desadier admitted in court that his assault on the victim was without justification, as the man did not present a threat to any officer or other person on the scene. Desadier also admitted that he knew, at the time, that his actions were unjustified and unreasonable under the circumstances,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Desadier, who was on duty at the time, is said to have injured Williams during the assault. Authorities said Williams was in handcuffs and on the ground when Desadier kicked him in the head and face. He was also not resisting.
“Instead of lawfully carrying out his sworn duties as a law enforcement officer, Desadier abused his authority by assaulting and injuring an arrestee who was not a threat,” Assistant Attorney General Clarke said in the statement. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute any officer who abuses the public trust by using excessive force without basis.”
“I applaud our local, law-abiding police officers for their service to our respective communities,” U.S. Attorney Brown added.
“Unfortunately, there are a few police officers who cannot be described as law-abiding. When police officers commit crimes in violation of federal criminal civil rights statutes that can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a federal court of law, we will prosecute those officers zealously and without hesitation. The actions of this officer are inexcusable, violate public trust in law enforcement and he must be held accountable. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to enforcing the rule of law and protecting the civil rights of all persons present within the Western District of Louisiana, with a goal of restoring and building the public’s trust in local, state and federal law enforcement.”
Desadier, who is scheduled to be sentenced on November 21, faces up to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release, the Department of Justice said. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000.
Responding to the plea agreement, one of Williams’ attorneys, Donecia Banks-Miley, told Monroe News-Star that though they’re satisfied with the way the case is moving, they are unhappy with the terms of the plea agreement. She also said Williams was saddened after he heard about the plea agreement.
“These are lifelong tragedies that he has to deal with,” Banks-Miley said. “The trauma is real. It’s our job as attorneys to keep him encouraged to give him a glimpse of what could be in the justice system. However, when you have this offender, who’s kicking him in the face as if he’s playing football, it’s kind of hard to keep that faith alive when he’s only going to plead to one count.”
Banks-Miley registered their displeasure with Desadier being the only officer implicated in the assault as other Monroe Police officers were also at the scene of the incident.
“I ask the question, ‘Are you actively investigating these other officers?’, Banks-Miley said.
“I was told, ‘Not at this time? There has not been enough evidence.’ There are other videos that will corroborate what happened to that night when Timothy complained on the scene to the supervisor there, to several officers on the scene yet nothing was done. They laughed, they mocked and joked with him. We only have one guy, Jared Desadier, to stand here and take the fall for the entire police agency. We’re not happy with that.”